Top 8 Most Popular Theatre Seat Designs

Top 8 Most Popular Theatre Seat Designs

We’ve seen some trends over the last few decades – with consultants, architects and clients describing the same types of designs for their venues.

To help make things easier for all, here at Kirwin & Simpson, we’ve rounded up the 8 most popular seating-styles we’ve come across!

From traditional heritage to premium cinema-style and removable pedestal, we’ve got a range for that. Scroll down to see more!

1. Carnaby Range

Carnaby Contemporary Removable Seats at Liverpool Everyman Theatre by Kirwin & Simpson
Carnaby Range Seats at Liverpool Everyman Theatre by Kirwin & Simpson

Contemporary and made to be removed. This chair is best suited for multi-purpose theatres or art centres. With increased turnover and less time between runs, theatre owners want to rearrange seating as quickly as possible.

Carnaby is optimised with several unique floor fixing methods suitable for any auditorium construction.

2. Oxford Range

Oxford Traditional Hardwood Theatre Chairs by Kirwin & Simpson for Hudson Theatre Broadway
Oxford Range Theatre Chairs by Kirwin & Simpson for Hudson Theatre — The Widest Seats on Broadway!

Traditional hardwood-backed theatre chairs updated with modern comforts. This style is designed to compliment the era of any venue because of its customisability. Cast iron end panels are made unique to each project and means that seat dimensions are easily altered for the best comfort.

Kirwin & Simpson are known for our ability to adjust dimensions while keeping with heritage design aesthetics, meaning we can offer the widest seats on the market.

3. Regent Lazarus

Regent Lazarus Traditional Upholstered Theatre Chairs by Kirwin & Simpson Seating
Regent Lazarus Seating at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow by Kirwin & Simpson

Most heritage chairs today have been remastered using modern technology.

Modelled after the popular Lazarus Chair of the 1900s, this range benefits from the highest quality materials available on the market today. Whether they’re refurbished or completely replicated, at Kirwin & Simpson, we use 3D printing to replicate original cast standards to keep with the integrity of the interior styling.

4. Portobello Range

Portobello Probax Stacking Chair by Kirwin & Simpson Seating for St Ann's Warehouse NYC
Portobello ProBax Stacking Chair by Kirwin & Simpson Seating for St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC

A versatile, lightweight stacking chair with all the comfort of a fixed chair. Designed for flexi-space, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Portobello makes it easy to create rows through linking back mechanisms, or can be used freestanding. The best bit is that they can stack 10-high when not in use!

This range is increasing in popularity because of its flexibility. Many of our clients order custom versions of Portobello for their foyers and bar spaces.

5. Vine Range

image of upholstered leather fixed auditorium seating with custom rotating pedestal at the bridge theatre
Vine Range Pivot Pedestal Chair for The Bridge Theatre, London by Kirwin & Simpson

A uniquely designed pedestal stand that pivots 25°! Vine makes adjusting seating layouts much easier by not having to completely remove the units. This range is best suited for multi-format auditoria because it gives the grandest flexibility with seating and stage formats for producers to work with.

Vine is packed with neat features. This includes unique ‘hugging arms’ that taper in the back to help the chair pivot to different viewing angles.

The units can be made retractable and in accordance with telescopic chair designs. 

6. Downing Range

Art Deco Chairs at the Apollo Victoria London by Kirwin & Simpson Seating
Downing Range at the Apollo Victoria London by Kirwin & Simpson

An Art Deco design straight out of the 1920s! Like Regent Lazarus, this style of chair suits fixed-seated and heritage theatres. Modern standards of comfort are added to the traditional framing by using a virtual CAD model to extend the seat height and back angle. 

If a client requires a unique and striking fabric pattern, Kirwin & Simpson can work with them to scale a completely custom-made design.

7. Fleet Range

Fleet Standard Auditorium Chair
Fleet Standard Auditorium Chair for Fairfield Halls by Kirwin & Simpson

The most well-know, standard auditorium chair. This range has been offering a contemporary styling, excellent comfort, and durability for the last 30+ years. Fleet is the preferred range for many clients because it is easy to maintain and can accommodate features from other designs into the specification.

At Kirwin & Simpson, we use our long-standing supply chain to source the best quality materials at affordable prices.

8. Pullman Cinema

Luxury Pullman Seating at Melton Mowbray’s Regal Cinema by Kirwin & Simpson

With cinemas increasingly looking for new ways to combat the home entertainment revolution, improving the comfort of customers has become a way of enticing more people to visit cinemas.

Pullman seating is the chief means of giving customers more leg room, better lumbar support and better fields of vision. Offering it all without compromising seating space.

Have you seen any of these designs out in the world? Which are your favourites?

All of the chairs listed are fully customisable, can be fitted with Advanced Probax® Comfort Technology, and benefit from compact ‘envelope’s that help maximise auditorium space without compromising on leg room.

Prices start at £199 per chair.