Andy Williams personally designed and helped to create the Moon River Theatre. He visited Branson and later planned to return to build a $12 million state of the art theatre he eventually named the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. Moon River opened its doors on May 1, 1992. Andy had become the first non-country performer to open a theatre in Branson. And thanks to his ground breaking decision, other non-country performers and theme shows began to move in to the tiny town that would soon be known as the live music capital of the world.
The Moon River Theatre’s design reflects the beauty and environmental integrity for the surrounding Ozark Mountains. The 48,000 square foot structure is set among 16 acres landscaped with foliage, rock formations, waterfalls and a rippling stream. It won the 1992 Conservation Award for Developed Land Use from the State of Missouri and is the only theatre ever to be featured in Architectural Digest.
For the interior, it was Andy’s idea to create a beautiful auditorium for live performances along with a lobby area that had a museum-like atmosphere so that he could display pieces of art from his personal collection.
At his Moon River Theatre, Andy has shared the stage with various guest stars such as Glen Campbell, Ann-Margret, Petula Clark, and Charo. Andy’s electrifying performances with his guests blend music and comedy into spectacular shows that are one of Branson’s most popular attractions. The 2008-2010 fall presentations of The Andy Williams All-Star Variety Show were very reminiscent of his television show, and he felt these were the best shows he had done since he had been in Branson.
Since his passing, Jimmy Osmond has taken over the theatre as a promise to his friend and mentor to keep the legacy alive. Andy Williams memorabilia is displayed throughout the theatre and a wide variety of entertainers grace the stage throughout the year just as Andy envisioned.