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Lloyd Construction and The Legend of Century East at Dawley Farm Village

It was early winter in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The days were cold and dark. The ground was hard as stone. The 21st Century’s inaugural decade was in its waning days. 

Januaries on the northern plains are always tough, but this was cruel. Temperatures reached 30 degrees below zero. Snow in the lowest places piled 20 inches high.

But Lloyd Construction paid Mother Nature no mind.

Months earlier, Cinemark had approached Lloyd Companies about constructing a second theatre in its hometown. The connection was timely, as Lloyd Companies’ development efforts at Dawley Farm Village on Sioux Falls’ growing northeast side were well underway. The site provided the perfect location for a second cinema--and The Legend of Century East at Dawley Farm Village began.

Deeming this tale a legend is only a slight exaggeration. Legends are often well known. But while the record of this epic account is not etched in the annals of history, the actions of the brave men and women of Lloyd Companies can only be described as legendary.  

Cinemark’s schedule was a challenge from day one. The goal was to have the theatre in operation for the slate of blockbusters set to open on The Fourth of July. The Lloyd Companies team got to work while assuring their client that the targeted date was realistic. But the clock was far from the only hurdle standing in the builders’ way.

Temperatures dropped. Snow fell. Arctic wind swirled.

Hammers swung. Shovels dug. Clock hands spun.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. In conjunction with Cinemark’s national vendors, the Lloyd Construction team sought ways to expedite their build. In an attempt to save time, the team installed light fixtures and accessories typically used in theatres outside the United States. Rather than quicken the process, their ingenuity led to a roadblock. The installation of equipment unfamiliar to the domestic market caused compliance issues and cost the contractor valuable time.

To add fuel to Lloyd Construction’s fire, a nearly identical theatre project with similar deadlines and expectations broke ground 600 miles to the south in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The Broken Arrow team wasn’t “constructin’ in a winter wonderland,” but they did experience a number rain related delays. What began as a race against the clock quickly became a competitive sprint to the finish. Mano a Mano. Hare versus hare.

Winter gave way to spring, and construction conditions became much more manageable. The team pressed on, committed to their July 4th goal. Their confidence must have been palpable. And why wouldn’t it be? They just endured one of the harshest winters on record in South Dakota and stayed true to an aggressive schedule in the midst of it all. Their hard work earned them the respect of the Cinemark executives, who, along with congratulating the team on their efforts, asked if they could deliver the project in time for the premier of the latest Twilight film. This was an improvement on an already ambitious schedule, but the Lloyd Construction team said it could be done.

Century East at Dawley Farm was completed in June of 2010, three weeks before the original target date and just in time for the premier of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. No Century Theatre has been constructed as fast either before or since Lloyd Construction’s legendary performance at Century East at Dawley Farm. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma team came in second in the two team race, and Mother Nature was no match for the Lloyd Companies team. 

Legendary indeed.