updating the old to be as durable as new

Box Seating

Single Seats, Rester Rail and Box Front Reupholster made to match a theatre's aesthetic.


We can repair any number of chairs in-house; from single seats to whole auditoriums.


Supporting large and boutique cinemas in maintaining comfort and quality.

Since the beginning

Kirwin & Simpson started as re-upholsterers to local cinemas during the Second World War. Having 75+ years of experience and a warehouse of heritage casts, we're able to refurbish century-old chairs in-house.



Kirwin & Simpson has become the supplier of choice for most of London’s West End theatres. We believe that it’s because of our ability to react quickly, work around busy theatre schedules, and stick to budgets and deadlines. This can be vitally important if the only opportunity to repair or refurbish an auditorium is between show runs.

Having the ability to quickly remove and repair chairs in our workshops also enables us to work more easily with theatre managers looking to keep downtime and disruption to a minimum.

Having our own workshop also means we can repair any number of chairs. From single Box seats, to certain rows, a section, or whole auditoriums,  Kirwin & Simpson have the facilities and capability to handle it all.

Case Example: London Palladium

At the London Palladium we refurbished over a thousand chairs in the Stalls, throughout the summer of 2013. The London Palladium is a Really Useful Theatre and therefore benefits from scheduled maintenance visits to keep the auditorium chairs looking their best.

As well as refurbishing the chairs at the Palladium and carry out regular maintenance visits, we also attend to remove seating, as necessary for large events booked.

Box seating

Box seats are premium-rate chairs in any theatre and must be kept in top condition. 

We start by collecting the chairs that need refurbishing directly from site. From there our team of experts will begin the re-upholstery process with new fabric that matches the rest of the theatre design. Kirwin & Simpson can also re-stain and varnish the wooden pieces if needed.  

Rester Rails & Box Fronts


Rester rails and box fronts are surprisingly high profile elements in a theatre. Box fronts in particular are visible from almost every point in the auditorium. The rester rails will also receive a lot of wear and tear from elbows, drinks and anything else that may be placed on them. Hence, high levels of durability coupled with low maintenance requirements are key.

In other words, they need to look good and stay looking good with a minimum of cleaning and repairing for as long as possible. Having been in the business for over 70 years, we know what stays looking good and what doesn’t. Kirwin & Simpson start by stripping the existing rails and box fronts so they can be fitted with new foam. Then our experienced team reupholsters the piece with new fabric matching (and in some cases exactly identical) to the rest of the theatre.

The re-fitting of the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End (photo above) required a particularly sumptuous look for the very high quality box seating, rails and surrounds to maintain the feeling of elegance.



Kirwin & Simpson are the preferred seating contractor for Cineworld Cinemas, one of Europe’s leading cinema groups. Cineworld is the second largest cinema business in Europe (by number of screens) with over 200 sites and over the last four years we have re-upholstered over 40,000 cinema chairs, either on site or in our workshops.

A good example of the K&S difference is the refurbishment of the Cineworld Cinema in Broad Street, Birmingham, where we re-upholstered 3316 chairs on site in just 3 weeks.


At Kirwin & Simpson we don’t just work with large cinemas, we also support a number of independent venues who value our ability to meet tight budgets and suggest cost-effective solutions to changing requirements.

Why Choose us?

At Kirwin & Simpson we go above and beyond to make our clients’ vision a reality.
We’d be delighted to discuss your needs and any questions you may have – just drop us a message using the button below.