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Tilt-Up Achievement Award for Warren Theatre – Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Tilt-Up Achievement Award for Warren Theatre – Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

The Warren Theatre is a beautiful art deco inspired Hollywood Glam theatre, featuring 18 cinema screens and extraordinarily lavish architectural features and vibrant colors.  At $20.9 million, the project is both the largest and most elaborate movie theatre in the country. The project was completed in December 2014.

Exterior walls for the auditorium “wings” and the taller central core structure utilized load-bearing tilt-up panels.  The tilt-up concrete was self-performed by Crossland Construction. The structural design was based on a redundant cellular diaphragm concept, similar to its sister project in Moore, Oklahoma, which withstood an EF-5 tornado in May 2013. 

A noteworthy structural highlight of the project is a very large spandrel panel behind the marquee tower spanning over the main entry. At 81’-2” wide, the spandrel would be the 3rd widest spandrel panel on the TCA Top Ten list, and weighs over 133,000#. The spandrel is a significant load-bearing element of the structure, supporting roof joists on the backside and two levels of steel framing for the marquee tower on the front. Due to the sheer size of the spandrel, the panel required a coordinated two-crane lift.

Spanning 77’ clear over an open lobby with a bearing height of 45’ above finish floor, the panel required special bracing consideration for construction loads and erection sequencing. As an extension of the tilt-up design package, Needham DBS designed special lateral bracing towers to support the panel from behind, coordinating connections of bracing to existing structural framing to a large extent, while minimizing interference with adjacent framing to be erected. This special bracing plan allowed framing for the marquee to proceed immediately.

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