Theater seat restoration

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jarrod, Jul 9, 2001.

  1. Jarrod

    Jarrod Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 1999
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    As of today my garage is 1/2 full of some old, fairly shabby theater seats that were yanked from an old theater and then stored for an undisclosed length of time at a private residence.
    They look to be perhaps 60's vintage with rocker backs (on leaf springs) and solid oak arm rests. They need to be stripped, painted, repadded and reupholstered.
    Has anybody had experience restoring old theater seats? If so I'd be very interested to get tips and pointers to resources or materials that were of use.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    6,283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Ron
    Jarrod,
    I restored 10 theater seats. Probably not as old as yours, maybe 20 years or so.
    First thing I did was take some pics of the seats, mainly for reference.
    I completely disassembled them. Followed by a strip cleaning of all the metal parts. I then primed and painted everything, using a lacquer type gloss spray paint, about 3 coats of paint.
    I bought all new foam and fabric from the local shops. Reupholstered the seats and backs with the new foam and fabric using contact-cement to glue down the areas that needed it.
    Reassembled the seats with all new nuts/bolts and screws and installed them. It took me about 2 months to do 10 seats. I installed 7 of them in my HT.
    I had no wood to refinish, mine were all metal and plastic. It was actually very easy, just time consuming.
    Good Luck. The theater seats make a great addition to a HT.
    Peace Out~ [​IMG]
    ------------------
    http://home.earthlink.net/~peregrinefalcon/
     
  3. Jarrod

    Jarrod Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 1999
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info, Ron.
    Any tips on how you stripped the metal clean before painting? I'm looking at sandblasting them, but this could get very messy so I'm interested in alternative methods.
    Thanks again
     
  4. David Tolsky

    David Tolsky Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 1999
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I restored 15 theater seats. I was able to obtain enough extra fabric to re-uphoster all the seats but found that I never had to use it. I just researched all the good upholstry cleaners and then used lots of "elbow grease" in getting out stains. Like Ron, I dissassembled all pieces and scrubbed all the metal down first. I got a spray paint that most closely matched my metal color, a maroon-red. The isle end panels were pretty chewed up as well as the isle end wood armrests so I completely made new ones in my woodshop of solid oak, adding cupholders as well.
    Before re-painting, I rubbed acetone over all metal parts to grind away at tough stains and gum, etc. If you use this, be careful and take necessary steps not to get it on your skin. I was able to use all original hardware with these seats for assembly, as they were in storage in a warehouse disassembled already. The theater just gave me a box of nuts and bolts and that was all I needed. Good luck with your restoration, and have fun! Check this out: http://www.geocities.com/cinedave1/Dave_sphotopage.html
     

Share This Page