Tarlton began renovations to the Saint Louis Science Center’s OMNIMAX® Theater in mid-July 2019 and completed work in time for the planned Nov. 29 reopening to the public. The project is the largest renovation to the theater since it opened in 1991.
The team installed a raised access floor that allows presenters to be better seen by the audience; installed new carpeting, handrails and guardrails; upgraded the lighting; hoisted a new projector system and installed a projector access platform; and completed electrical work associated with the new projector system, along with technical upgrades that allow the Science Center to livestream and simulcast educational programming.
The project also included updated finishes in the theater lobby. Because the team was working in a fully operational facility open to the public, construction activities were phased to minimize disruptions to Science Center guests and staff.
Tarlton worked closely with the Science Center to create a wider array of accessibility options for visitors using wheelchairs and companion seating. Upgraded technology for individuals with visual and hearing impairments includes assistive listening technology comprising an audio induction loop that transmits a magnetic wireless signal for use by people with hearing aids.
Tarlton Concrete Restoration cleaned the five-story theater’s rows of tiered concrete seating and applied a polyurethane-based coating to the floor. Similar to protective coatings Tarlton applies in parking structures, the concrete sealant will improve surface wear and provide long-term protection in the high-traffic theater.
Specialty contractors installed 433 new video screen panels in the 80-foot-diameter dome’s existing framework to create a new, seamless screen, and updated the projection system to IMAX® with Laser, a next-generation laser technology designed for 180-degree domed theater environments. This work made the theater one of just four IMAX Dome with Laser theaters in the world.