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TOPIC: Stadium seating question

Stadium seating question 27 Apr 2004 10:32 #8063

  • jackelope
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I have been reading this site for a while and trying to learn as much as I can. Last night, I went to our local theater and started talking to the manager. I asked him if they (a Regal theater) were ever going to get upgraded to stadium seating. He said no, not unless the other theater in town builds a new theater. Fine, I understood that answer, but then he says that stadium seating was only brought about because of ADA reguations and really add nothing to a theater. Is that true, or is that just way to make his older theater look better? Thanks for the help.
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Re: Stadium seating question 27 Apr 2004 11:00 #8064

  • Ken Layton
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Fine, I understood that answer, but then he says that stadium seating was only brought about because of ADA reguations and really add nothing to a theater.

Say what? Stadium style seating has been around since the 1930's. It's the lazy way of designing seating---just make 10" high steps and throw seats on 'em. Stadium seating is today's fancy buzzword in theaters because audiences _think_ it's better. Nothing compares with a well planned & laid out conventional sloped floor with continental seating. As to this manager's statement about stadium seating coming about because of ADA requirements what's he smoking? If anything the stepped floor and high altitude of stadium style seating makes wheelchair access more difficult and in some cases *elevators* have had to be installed in stadium seating houses just so the handicapped can have access. Stadium seating auditoriums cost much more to build, maintain and insure.
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Re: Stadium seating question 29 Apr 2004 06:51 #8065

  • jimor
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Ken is quite right about "Stadium-style" seating being around since the 1930s, and before! In the 1929 book AMERICAN THEATRES OF TODAY (still to be seen at some libraries) there is an opening article about theatre seating types, and it diagrams the Stadium-style, though at that time, it meant more than merely stepped seating, since all balconies had that. It also meant being able to go up into the balcony/stadium seating by using a stairs right in the auditorium and not having to go out into the lobby to get up there. I know that such a Stadium style seating was built here in Milwaukee in the RIVIERA in 1920.

As to the ADA problems, Ken is also right! As a recent California law suit referred to on a string here last summer points out, the courts want cinemas to install elevators so that any wheelchair user can select ANY seat in the house and order it removed along with 'companion' seats and allow the wheelchair user to be placed there for that one show! Everyone is confident that this absurd interpretation of the law will be overturned, thank goodness. I'm all for helping the handicapped, but this is ridiculous.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Stadium seating question 30 Apr 2004 14:19 #8066

  • rodeojack
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A theatre in my area (Ken's familiar with this) recently re-seated their auditoriums.

This theatre sits literally next door to another theatre, twice as big, which is owned by a competing chain.

At a point where it would be appropriate to consider a stadium retrofit, this theatre was merely re-chaired. To me, that would seem a pretty strong statement that the company has no foreseeable plan to do any major remodeling in that theatre.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited April 30, 2004).]
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