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Let's talk theater seating

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Sam Posten, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I had put this inquiry into my main thread without getting any reply, hoping putting it into its own thread some of you who have gone this route have some advice.

    Starting to think of getting real theater seats down there to replace my 20 year old couches. Anyone have any recommendations? Thinking of going 2 rows of 3 and 3, with a riser being installed for second row. See the pics on page 1 to get an idea of size and consideration for getting to the bathroom:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/319456-sams-underground-aerie/#entry3899267

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Think I can safely get 3 good size seats in there with enough room on the right hand side for the bathroom? (roughly 15 feet width) without making the left hand seat jam against the wall?

    First thought is considering 3 freestanding recliners in the Fusion Escape collection:

    http://www.rtheaters.com/FusionCollection/FC-Escape-1019.html

    They say 37" wide but lets call that 40 for a little room between em, 40x 3 = 120 inches so I'd have 60 inches to play with total on both sides. 20 inches off one wall and 40 on the main right hand side, that's 3 and a half feet, is that enough?

    Do you like full sized back chairs or do you think they compromise the surround sound too much?

    Would you think a recliner-loveseat-recliner would be a good choice for a second row to have a place to snooze/snuggle in or defeats the theater idea?

    Any brands or stores you recommend? Is it worth taking a trip to The Big Screen Store?

    Other advice you can share???
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    I have some "other advice". Paint that room darker mister !!
     
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  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I use three futons in my theater.Makes for a great slumber party for kids.And...when kids aren't there...
     
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  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Jim: All in due time. The whole house is that color. Updating one room at a time. At least I like it overall, it 'works' in most of the rooms and 2 years later I am still happy with it.

    Sam: Wise words. I want at least one row of 'real' seats tho =)
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but this is the most important room in the house !! The other rooms can wait !!
     
  6. Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Well-Known Member

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    Sam;
    I found the best way to select seating was to try it out. I looked at a number of places, and decided on a sectional set up. I found what I liked at a local furniture store, went to the web site, and put together a configuration I liked. We had some discussion about my choices-the company said they wouldn't all recline simultaneoulsly because I put a couple of wedge consuls on either side. By the dimensions, I thought they would. They shipped it the way I wanted it, and they all recline sinmultaneously. They all work, and they are all comfortable. The leather ones come in brown or red-I chose red leather. They also come in a range of fabrics, with a wider range of colors in fabric.

    View attachment 8573

    The color looks a bit darker live. From your past posts, I also noticed you have cats. Luckily, mine are pretty well behaved, and only use their front claws in the posts I've wrapped in rope, some rugs and exercise mats, and particular chair that my wife seems to like but I was never excited about. One cat took ownership of the theater while I was planning it, and hung out while I planned it and did construction. She has a tendency to make other cats unwelcome if they start to misbehave. If claws are a concern, cloth might be a better choice than leather. We leave the door shut when the area is not in use. From your photos, that doesn't look like an option.

    The company that made mine is Best furniture. They are also made in the USA. The avaliable components with dimensions are at http://www.besthf.com/bcassets/pdfs/Brinley_sect.pdf

    If you used three seats, with an outer seat at both ends and a non wedge consul on either side of the middle seat, giving everyone a rather spaceous armrest, the width for all would be around 87".
     
  7. Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Well-Known Member

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    Correction-three seats, with 2 consoles comes out to 115" in width. With a 15' (180") space, that would leave 65" fo aisle space, if the width of the drawing does not include the stairs.
     

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  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Thanks for the excellent info Bob. I measured the actual space I have to work with last night and can safely go 11 feet wall to aisle that I have now. So that's 132 inches to work with, I think I can safely put 3 across with 2 sideways TV tables between them and have room to keep the one 6 inches off the wall.Jim I agree, but I'm doing things 1 step at a time and so far the room 'works' as is. I have a bigger issue with light leaking from the small window around the blackout curtains I have, mom is working on nice drapes for me now! Seat first, along with the riser, then the paint down the road!Also, I measured where the couch sits now, it's almost 9 feet wall to eyeballs which is pretty close for a 12 foot screen. I personally prefer to be at this distance tho I know others would recommend at least a screen diagonal back....
     
  9. Type A

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    This may not be popular in this forum but I went with power reclining theater seating and I never will again. Theyre Berkline but they just dont stand the test of time or as comfortable as a traditional couch/loveseat. I suppose it also depends on your usage. Personally I use the crap out of my system; movies, TV, gaming and music. My neighbours know my sound system very well yet few have seen it in person, I average 100+ hours a month on my projector and that doesnt count the plasma in the same room. My system is comfy for anybody and will always be the most popular room in the house. YMMV but for me there is no substitute for the ultimate in comfort and social seating, cool looking home theater seating be damned.
     
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  10. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    I agree. We use a reclining love seat in our theater. My fat ass wants to be comfortable !!
     
  11. Adam Gregorich

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    I am a firm believer in not getting tall recliners for theater seating. You don't want to sit in front of a wall between your rear speakers and you. My motorized theater seats have held up very well. One of the (now defunct) home theater mags did a face off between theater seats years ago and the Bass Industries Celebrity was the winner for design and overall comfort. Its what we ended up using and several years later I couldn't be happier. They were more expensive than the Berklines but I think based on comments here that you get what you pay for. I like them for the following reasons: They are a bit narrower, so I could fit four instead of three in a row (but still have plenty of room for a big guy like me). It does get a little tight when my 70+ pound dog tries to squeeze into my seat next to me, so he ends up partially on my lap. They have a low back which won't interfere with rear speakers. They are super comfortable. You can get them with or without cupholders and motors. I really recommend the motors. They let you dial them in exactly where you want are add to the wow factor. I skipped the retractable cupholders in favor of the basic in arm ones they were too expensive and too far to reach for your drink. I would buy them again in a heartbeat.

    I put a riser in. Install outlets in the face for your front row seats and in the top for your upper row seats. I do think its important to try seats. And not just for 2 min. You are going to be sitting there for a two hour movie (or longer if you are gaming), so bring a book and camp out for a while. It may be worth it to plan a trip to a trade show like CEDIA where you can see and try out a lot of seating options. It adds to the cost, but if your goal is to get something that will outlast the rest of the gear in your theater it starts to make sense.

    IMG_8071_Small.JPG
    Here they are installed. I like the low backs and wood arm accents. They are sooo comfortable.
    IMG_8068_Small.JPG
    Notice we went with a love seat built into the back row. Figured we could put three or for kids on it to increase capacity if needed.
     
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  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    That looks awesome Adam, thanks for the input on high backs, it's definitely a concern for me. I will check out that brand. Unfortunately tho I think I might value width more than you did. =) I'm definitely a big dude.Love that carpet!One new Q, I didn't realize that pre-made risers are a thing. Given that I don't really want to rip up carpet I'm wondering if anyone has experience with these or others.http://4seating.com/accessories-HomeTheaterRisers.htm
     
  13. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to rip up carpeting. The riser can just sit on top of your current carpet. We did that for a while when we used a riser.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Definitely, was just going to put a rectangular box on the floor and cover it with matching carpet to what I have now, but then I saw the premade ones. Was wondering if those were worth it over building a custom frame.
     
  15. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Depends if premade is the size you need.I don't use a riser, but I use futons.I've actually had people ask why, then I flop them all down and throw on a Disney movie or show the "smart kid" How to go movie to TV to Wii. Then they are like...AH, now I get it.Plus sometimes you like cuddling up with the SO and laying sideways...sucks.
     
  16. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Oh yeah. My futons are 7 feet wide. Pain to find matresses/covers, but they exist. The good part, there is no crappy 7' futon mattress.So, the three give approximately 14'x7' flat.
     
  17. Adam Gregorich

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    The seating cushion is 22" wide on our particular series. As to the riser, they aren't that hard to build at all, and you can tweak the size and put whatever carpet you want on it if you DIY. I would imagine that w/o a seating order shipping would be pretty painful on them as well. Building them yourself also allows you to easily run anything you want (electrical for power seats, stair lighting, AV cables, etc.) through it.

    View attachment 8613
     
  18. Adam Gregorich

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    Funny story on the carpet Sam....we had been to five or six carpet places and hadn't seen anything we liked. We were on the verge of getting plain black when we saw a sample, turned and said to each other, "that's it!"
     

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  19. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    That's a manly riser. Probably triple overkill(which is how I build stuff). Is that 2x6 or 2x8?

    I usually design them done like bed frames. An outer frame 2" taller than the inner slats. Those slats every 6 feet. With 1x2 laying across and 1" plywood/MDF covering(which makes up the 2").
     
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  20. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    Yikes !! Those look like 2 X 12's.
     

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