Sight & Sound Theatres has been described in many ways: “the largest faith-based live theatre in America”, “the Christian Broadway”, “one of the top three theatre destinations on the East Coast”, and the list goes on. Each year about 800,000 people come from around the country and around the world to experience a production at one of Sight & Sound’s theatres in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania or Branson, Missouri. Sight & Sound Theatres, which exists to visualize and dramatize the Bible, began as an organization nearly thirty years ago.
In May 2008 Branson, Missouri welcomed the inaugural “voyage” of one of Sight & Sound’s all-time favorite productions, “Noah – the Musical”. The brand new state-of-the-art 2000-seat, 339,000 square foot theatre opened its doors to the public and has quickly become a favored destination of Branson audiences. “Noah – the Musical” returned to the Branson stage in 2009 for a seven-month season, followed by the exciting premiere of the heart-warming family tradition “Miracle of Christmas”. The shows produced by Sight & Sound feature a professional cast of more than 50, elaborate sets towering up to 40 feet high, hundreds of costumes, and trained animals ranging from camels and horses to dogs and flight-trained birds. Spectacular special effects permeate the shows and include set pieces that rise up through the stage floor, 3D video imaging, pyrotechnics and artistic lighting effects including lasers.
Inside the main theatre, a 300 foot stage sits 180 degrees around the audience so as to give the feeling of being right inside the ark. During the introduction of the show, dozens of live animals will walk through the audience to be loaded into place on the ark.
SG Integration (now Paragon 360) was pleased to be chosen for the sale and installation of the audio system for the Sight & Sound Theater in Branson, MO. Working closely with the owner, we were able to complete this project on time and on budget. Equipment for the main auditorium includes six QSC line arrays, 38 EAW overhead effect speakers and 37 BagEnd fill speakers, Media Matrix processing, LCS playback and an Innovason digital mixing console keeping the system under control.
Due to the theatrical nature of their shows a total of 34 Shure wireless systems were deployed and include a full-featured monitor setup for a dedicated wireless technician. A total of six equipment rooms were necessary to house equipment racks filled with 84 QSC power amplifiers and eleven Media Matrix processors that are all connected via cobra-net over a closed fiber-optic system. The main speaker system is spread out four across the main stage, and one across each of the left and right stages. The infrastructure allows an option to add four more line array clusters for future shows. The system is driven by a 104 input x 128 output surround sound/matrix mixer and an 80 input digital console.
Outside of the main theatre system were two other phases which included HI-FI paging systems. One of those included a front of house system which distributed audio to administration offices, lobbies, and patron areas. The second paging phase was the backstage system which included audio distribution for scenic shops, an animal training arena, dressing rooms, animal housing units, business administration offices, and green rooms. This paging system alone was bigger than a large majority of most Branson theatre installations. The patron areas also included mass connectors for temporary portable systems anywhere throughout the space.
The installation was performed over a two-year period. Sight & Sound Theatres are the largest faith-based live theatres in America and they continue to receive high praise from the industry and their patrons.