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TOPIC: seating and a flat floor

seating and a flat floor 22 May 2003 20:18 #28241

  • crshedd
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--would staggered seating on a flat floor afford good views of the screen?

--would you alternate rows with different size seats-ie, a row of 24" followed by a row of 23"?

thanx, in advance, for any advice.

'hey! there's no party here!'
jeff spicoli
fast times at ridgemont high
'hey! there's no party here!'
jeff spicoli
fast times at ridgemont high
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Re: seating and a flat floor 22 May 2003 22:17 #28242

  • Simfilms
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We put in a single screen in an old car dealership garage. Our 159 seats are all
rockers so you can angle yourself for the best view. The installers didn't stagger the seats so as to get the maximum number of seats in the auditorium area. Also, an
important factor is the bottom of the screen is six feet above flat floor level.
We've been in operation eight months and have had no complaints. Needless to say, I
would have preferred a sloped floor but one
advantage of the flat floor is clean-up.
The vacuum stays where you park it instead
of rolling down the aisle.


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Re: seating and a flat floor 23 May 2003 09:36 #28243

  • John Pytlak
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A flat floor is certainly not ideal for theatres. The bottom of the screen has to be high enough that no one standing up will cast a shadow on the screen, and likewise, the projection port needs to be high enough not to be obstructed. The seats need to be carefully selected, as good sightlines will require the audience to look UP at the screen at quite an angle, which can tire the neck muscles unless the seats allow the person to comfortably lean back. At the very least, draw some diagrams with sightlines to be sure no one will obstruct the projected image, and to see what kind of angles people have to crane their necks to the centerline of the screen.

You should especially avoid placing seats too close to the screen, which may force many seats further back than the preferred viewing distance of 2 to 4 screen heights specified in standard SMPTE 196M.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 585-477-5325 Cell: 585-781-4036 Fax: 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: seating and a flat floor 23 May 2003 13:36 #28244

  • revrobor
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In addition to what has already been suggested I would encourage you to place your seats at least 42" back to back on a flat floor.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: seating and a flat floor 03 Jun 2003 17:20 #28245

  • jimor
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In this day and age, the enforcement of the old 'Theatre Building/Occupancy Codes" is very uncertain, and there are none in many areas. Still, it would be wise of you to contact your local authorities as to what the code allows in your area. Some codes are quite specific on the number and arrangement of seats, distance between rows and width of aisles, nearness to exits, etc. You may not think they will notice it now, but all it takes is a complaint (from a would-be competitor??) that your place is out of code, and suddenly you may find yourself faced with an order to demolish your present arrangement and comply with code, or close.

Sloped seating is dealt with in several books on auditorium construction as is sight lines, and it is wise to make a careful study of all the points mentioned by the other fellows above, but DO make SURE of what your local codes allow or prohibit. Alterations at their orders could ruin you!
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: seating and a flat floor 03 Jun 2003 20:42 #28246

  • tbarnes
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I understand why you may be considering flat floors, however I would think long and hard before you build a the theater with flat floors. If you have found a building with flat floors and you can't slope the floors, have you considered a modifed stadium seating. If your concerned about the cost look into the company out the mid-west (I wish I could remember the name, I found it in Box Office Magazine)that is using the foam and fast setting cement to form the floor. When I talked to them the price seemed reasonable compaired to the alternatives. If you use modified stadium seating, it doesn't add much to your ceiling height requirements.
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