Thirteen Answers About Home Theater Seats.
By Wil Kovacs.
Tampa Bay, FL January 24, 2006 Today, many new homes are being built with home
theater rooms. Home theater rooms need home theater seats. These rooms are specifically
designed, and made for: watching movies, DVD‟s, video games, and listening to high
quality digital music.
Even older homes are getting home theaters. Finished basements, garages, bonus rooms,
across the USA, they are all being converted into home theater, movie viewing rooms.
There are basically two categories of home theater seats.
The first is the real, authentic movie theater chair, exactly like you sit in at an actual
movie theater. These are available online at websites such as SeatsAndChairs.com and
HomeCinemaDecor.com. They have flip-up seats, cup holder armrests, and may feature
lift-up armrests as well. For example see the Elite model at SeatsAndChairs.com:
The second category is the reclining lounger. The leather reclining home theater chair is
the most popular; with it‟s cup holder armrests and flip out footrests. For an example of
this type of chair see the Orion at SeatsAndChairs.com, at:
The reasons to buy one or the other include: size of your home theater room, how many
people you wish to seat, as well as if you want a real movie theater experience (in which
case you would go with the real movie theater chairs) or would like be able to recline flat,
not minding if you even catch a nap now and again in the chair.
The bottom line is, home theaters are fun! Having a home theater at your house makes
movie watching an event. Video games come to life. Music sounds live. And sitting in a
comfortable home theater seat adds immeasurably to the fun and excitement of the whole
experience. Here are answers to the 13 most commonly asked questions regarding home
1. What are home theater seats?
A. Home theater seats are chairs specifically engineered and designed for viewing movie
in a personal home theater setting. Most home theater seats share these features: 1. A cup
holder built into the chairs armrest. 2. A shared armrest between each seat. 3A. For the
real movie theater style chairs, a flip up seat cushion, or 3B. For the leather reclining
lounger type home theater seating, a flip out foot rest. Additional upgrades like storage
compartments, snack trays, and even electric motors to recline the chair are available,
depending on the model.
2. What size should the home theater seats be?
A. The most popular real movie theater chairs are 22 inches wide, from center of
armrest to center of armrest, and the seat is usually about 20 to 22 inches deep,
and 36 to 40 inches tall. This is larger than say, 30 years ago, when the average
theater chair was only 18 or 19 inches wide.
B. The most popular recliner style home theater chair is 24 inches wide, for the
actual individual seat cushion. Heights usually run about 40 inches tall.
3. How do I determine the row length?
Most chair widths are given in center-to-center dimensions. So a chair “22 inches wide”
is measured from the center of one armrest to the center of the other armrest. So you
multiply the number of chairs times the width. So, 3 chairs at 22” center to center equals
66”. That‟s fine, but that is not the total length. You now have to add the other half of the
armrests, at the ends of the row. This is usually 4 inches. So in the example, 3 X 22” =
66” + 4” = 70” total. Note this quote: From the Richmond Times Dispatch Apr 16, 2005
BY CLARKE BUSTARD. "Seats in the historic movie palace in Carytown are 18 inches
wide, the same as an economy-class seat in the Boeing MD-80 flown by American
Airlines. And there's less legroom: 27½ inches from the back of a seat to the back of the
seat in front of it at the theater, compared with 31 to 32 inches on the plane."… “To
compare these dimensions with those of your body, sit down and measure the width of
your lap and the distance between the back of your hips and the front of your knees.
(Measurements in inches).”…
4. How do I determine legroom?
A. The critical dimension here is the back-to-back spacing. The minimum amount
recommended is 38 inches. The wider you go, the more legroom, and the more comfort.
Room size will affect this measurement.
5. How many chairs will fit in my room?
A. Here are the basic things you need to take into consideration. You want the person
sitting in the front row, actually the person‟s head, to be 1 to 2 times the width of your
screen, away from the screen. For example, say you have a 42-inch plasma television
screen. You want the eye, or head of the person sitting in your front row of chairs to be
42 to 84 inches away. The closer to 84 inches the better. Say your screen in 100 inches
wide. Then you want the eye of the person to be100 to 200 inches from the screen.
Another basic thing is your aisle widths. A doorway is 36 inches wide, so use that as a
guide. Some people like wide, say 48-inch aisles, others don‟t mind a 20-inch aisle.
Remember to allow room for doors to open, for stairs, and if you are using the recliners,
allow room for the footrest. All of these issues need to be taken into consideration. Then
you can use that information to determine the maximum number of theater chairs that
will fit in your room.
6. What color home theater seats should I choose?
Since rooms can be redecorated, even years after the room was originally designed, the
color black is a very popular choice. Remember these real movie cinema theatre chairs
are commercial grade and have a life span of 25 to 30 years. Black goes with everything.
Plus you can use accent pillows; fabric on end panels or armrests, even fabric on the
headrest can be used to tie the chairs into the other colors into the room. The second most
popular color is red. It is a traditional movie theater color. Bright, dramatic red stands
out. Custom orders, or customers own material (COM) is not, as a rule, a problem,
however the lead-time often increases dramatically.
7. How long will it take to get them?
A. Home theater seats, even the large leather recliner loungers can be shipped using
common shipping companies such as UPS or FedEx. To cross the USA, it takes about 6
business days. The in house turnaround time varies. In stock items usually ship out within
5 business days. Large orders can take longer. Leather chairs in stock ship out in 10 to 15
business days. Leather chairs not in stock usually take 4 to 8 weeks depending on the
model, as they are „made to order‟. Call the customer service department of the home
theater seating company and inquire.
8. Which home theater chair upgrade, or features are most popular?
A. Lift up cup holder armrests on the real movie theater chairs is very popular. Real
Tempur-Pedic memory cushions are available on some models. Also a rocking back
makes the chair more comfortable. There are real movie theater chairs that have rocking
back only, and then there is the true rocker, in other words with a true rocker, both the
back and seat rock when you lean back in the chair. A silent gravity lift seat bottom
prevents the need for maintenance or lubrication. Leather reclining loungers can have a
power option added, so that at the touch of a button the chair reclines. Also look for a
wall away feature, that means the chair can be set up close to a wall, and still fully recline
without hitting the wall.
9. Do I need a riser?
A. This concerns your line of sight. If you can get the bottom of your screen high enough
off the floor, then no you do not need risers. Usually if your screen is 3 feet off the
ground, that is enough. Riser height can vary from 4 inches to 12 inches per step. With 6
to 8 inches being the most popular height. However if you want tall chairs, say 40 or 42-
inch tall chairs, then risers may be necessary.
See a very helpful diagram at…
10. Do the chairs need to be bolted to the floor?
A. In a word yes. Real Movie Theater chairs are designed to be bolted to the floor,
however, bases of plywood work fine too. Regarding the leather home theater reclining
seats, these do not need to be bolted; rather they simply sit on the floor.
11. What about used theater seats?
A. Used chairs are a viable option; they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They
also come in a wide variety of conditions. Ask, how old are the chairs? As real theater
chairs have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, even a 10-year-old chair can have plenty
of life left in them. Also ask, how and where were the chairs used? Churches do not allow
food or drinks like movie cinemas do. The potential of church chairs (yes many churches
use real movie theater chairs in them!) having little or no abuse is great. Are the chairs in
good shape? Any stains? Tears? Rust? SeatsAndChairs.com prides itself in offering clean
high quality used chairs in a variety of colors and sizes. Speaking of colors, this is also
important to realize, used chairs only come in the color that they were received in. If the
used chairs came out of theater with maroon upholstery, so that is all that is available. To
change the color would incur more costs, that now, more than likely would negate the
cost savings of buying new.
12. What are butt shakers, or bass kickers?
A. They are electronic devices that are attached to the frame of the chair, or placed on the
floor directly underneath the chair, and that you attach to your sound system. The Butt
Shaker is a low frequency device that enables the person sitting in the chair to feel rather
than hear the low end (bass) of movies and music. Not a vibrating massage chair, the Butt
Shakers are musically accurate and respond precisely to the bass track of movies and
music, or the .1 and LFE channels on 5.1 systems. Butt Shaker equipped chairs connect
easily to any home theater system and can be installed by consumers and professionals.
Unlike a subwoofer or speaker, the Butt Shaker doesn‟t make the
room overly loud or carry the sound throughout the entire house or apartment complex.
This isolation of the low end within the seating makes Butt Shaker equipped chairs a
favorite of wives and neighbors. Designed by musicians and studio engineers, the Butt
Shaker is musically accurate with a tight, on-the-beat response that is not just for movies
and special effects, but is equally enjoyable with all types of music. It connects easily to
and works well with most any sound system, from a CD player to a complete home
theater system. Video games come alive when played in Butt Shaker enhanced seating
and an unparalleled level of realism and excitement awaits gamers who use these chairs.
These Butt Shakers have brought sound to life. See butt shaker info at:
13. How much do the home theater chairs cost?
A. Prices range from $99 each (+S/H) for a used chair up to $1,500 each chair (+S/H) for
a new state-of-the-art leather recliner home theater chair, with all the bells and whistles.
And practically any price in between. For example: the Elite or the Vegas home theater
chairs at SeatsAndChairs.com run around $350 each (+S/H), and a row of 3 leather home
theater chairs, such as the Orion 3, costs $1,399.00 (+S/H). So you can see the price
range of home theater seats is great. You can see the prices, and order online at
http://www.SeatsAndChairs.com, or you can simply call toll-free at 1-800-632-7657.