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TOPIC: Seats that fold into the Floor?

Seats that fold into the Floor? 24 Nov 2004 14:00 #9451

  • Karla
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Has anybody ever heard of theatre seats that can fold down into the floor (like in caravans, I guess) so that an auditorium can be use for other purposes when no movies are playing?

If so, any idea of what companies sell them?

Thanks!


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No, we don't live in igloos!
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 24 Nov 2004 21:43 #9452

  • revrobor
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In my 25 plus years in this business I have never seen any or seen any advertised.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
"Back In The Saddle Again"
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 25 Nov 2004 19:11 #9453

  • Ken Layton
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Seats that fold into the floor? Are you crazy? What are you smoking?
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 26 Nov 2004 10:37 #9454

  • Karla
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Hey, I said the same thing and I figured it was doubtful, but someone asked me about it, so I thought I'd ask all you smart people. Don't shoot the messenger!
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 26 Nov 2004 13:31 #9455

  • outaframe
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I suspect that someone was "pulling your leg" about this: the only way this could be done is with a special floor which would have space for the collapsed seat to fold into... On the scale required for the number of seats in a decent sized theater, this would be prohibitively expensive...

IF you're considering seating for a dual use auditorium, the best thing I have seen are the cast semi-flexible plastic "patio" arm chairs... They are reasonably comfortable, lightweight, durable, maintenence free (even for outdoor use), stackable, and cost only about $5 each, in quantity...
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 27 Nov 2004 01:07 #9456

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I have never come across any kind of folding or disappearing seats, however it was not uncommon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that theatres and opera houses were designed for multiple usage. Both as theatres with sloped floors with conventional seats, and as flat floor ballrooms, meeting rooms and display facilities.

What was done in these theatres was the errection of a temporary flat floor over the seats. These floors and their support elements were kept stored in the building, ready to be installed when needed.

It certainly doesn't seem like something that would be financially feasible in this day and age, but back then when labor was cheap and the need for regulatory approval was certainly less then what it is today, it was much easier to accomplish.

There is certainly no reason whatsoever why is could not be done today from an architectual or engineering standpoint, but the cost would be prohibitive for most private facilities.
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 29 Nov 2004 16:48 #9457

  • D. Bird
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I'd me more inclined to consider seats that folded UP to one side of the room. Think of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. For football, huge sections of seats are used. When the Twins play, they fold up like an accordion and are visible behind the fences in Centre and Right Field. No idea how soundproof you could make such a thing or cost, but like anything, it's been done. Only other thing would be a sliding floor, like gymnasiums used over a pool.
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Re: Seats that fold into the Floor? 30 Nov 2004 08:53 #9458

  • jimor
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D.Bird brings back to mind that unforgetable scene in the classic "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, which should be easy to find on the tube this time of year. Remember them dancing on the moving floor in the gym which was over the pool?

Not only would it cost BIG bucks to build such a floor, especially into an existing building, but one must remember that public meeting spaces fall under fire and panic laws that require the seats be in certain maximum number groups and that these be secured to the floor, if a hall/cinema is larger than a given size. Your architect or city building inspector can give you this data.
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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