Williams Construction has been awarded the American Buildings Company (ABC) 2007 Excellence in Design Building of the Year for the Branson, Missouri Sight & Sound Theater. Williams Construction was founded in 1981 and specializes in supplying hybrid pre-engineered structures. This particular structure contains one of the nation’s largest theatrical stages and a basement level for holding live animals used in productions.
Sight & Sound Theatres is the nation's largest professional Christian theater company and has one of the most-attended live theaters on the East Coast. The company's Branson addition is a near replica of Sight & Sound's Millennium Theatre in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The initial drawings and design of Millennium Theatre were done by Sight & Sound Theatres and completed by architects Butler, Rosenbury & Partners.
The Sight & Sound Theater in Branson was constructed under the guidance of CDI Contractors. The facility was constructed in two phases; the first phase was completed in 2007, with the second phase completed in spring 2008.
CDI worked with builder/subcontractor Williams Construction to supply and build the rear of the house. The pre-engineered building was designed for the area directly above the basement which houses the animals. This metal building was constructed in Phase I to accommodate the manufacturing of sets for the theater's first production, "Noah the Musical." The construction of the main facility, or Phase II, and the set design and construction were occurring simultaneously.
The Branson theater is 339,000 square feet and accommodates 2,085, plus spaces for up to 22 wheelchairs. The stage, one of the country's largest, measures 26,500 square feet and wraps around three sides of the main floor seating bringing the show to the sides of the audience. A stage fly loft enables performers to soar 110 feet in the air.
Two million watts illuminate the theater, and more than 70 surround sound speakers bring audio performances to life. An elaborate catwalk system and an extensive truss network over the main stage, include trusses in excess of 200 feet.
The Theater's ornate lobby covers 20,000 square feet, featuring a picturesque dome ceiling, a second-level viewing atrium and beautiful mock sets above the information desk.
Live animals, used in productions, are housed and trained in two basement levels of the facility. Networks of specially designed passageways surrounding the theater facilitate the movement of cast and show animals to various parts of the theater.