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Straight Across or Curved Seating

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm quickly approaching the point that I will start framing my riser, and one nagging question I've yet to answer is whether to go with straight across seating, or curved seating.

  • My room is ~18'-6" x 30'
  • my screen will be somewhere between 11.5' and 14' wide 2.35 (yeah, you'd think I'd have that nailed down by now, too biggrin.gif )
  • first row eyes somewhere around 12'-8".
  • If I can figure out an easy way to do a DIY curved screen, I'll go that route, otherwise it will be flat.
  • Looking at two rows of 4 (considering two straight in the middle and angled seats on the ends).

What do you guys think? Pros/cons to each layout?
post #2 of 22
When I was designing my room I had a couple qualifications. 1) I wanted a walkway on both sides of the seats and 2) I wanted a minimum of 3 seats per row. So when I was looking at recliner seating, I found the curved sets added a concidereable amount of width to the rows and that option was quickly nixed. So every thing I did while framing and riser and steps was done thinking that I would have 2 rows of 3 theater recliners. I have since opted to high back rocker real theater seats and will have 2 rows or 4 with these seats. (and incredibly cheaper!)

At the screen to eyes distance, I don't think the curved set is a deal breaker, just a luxury and visually more appealing.

Just food for thought......
post #3 of 22
Sounds like time for some lawn chairs and a family meeting.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
BroncoSport - Good point. I'll have to take a look at the dimensions on the curved seating.

Fred - Nice! That made me realize that our theater will have more matching chairs than anything else in our house smile.gif I have to be careful asking my wife this sort of stuff though. When I told her I was having trouble deciding on the screen size, she asked what the options were. When I mentioned 14' was the largest, she stopped me there and said that was the one. No more need to discuss it smile.gif
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

Sounds like time for some lawn chairs and a family meeting.

WOR:DD
post #6 of 22
Personally I prefer curved - aesthetics, and also so your eyes are pointed at the screen center without turning your head. And you should have the room for it (my room is 17' wide, and I have 3 curved in front, 4 curved in back, still with plenty of aisle space on the sides - but using narrower chair models, Berkline 13175s).
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
A vote for curved! I need to find some pics of curved seating to show my wife. That may help the decision smile.gif
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Personally I prefer curved - aesthetics, and also so your eyes are pointed at the screen center without turning your head. And you should have the room for it (my room is 17' wide, and I have 3 curved in front, 4 curved in back, still with plenty of aisle space on the sides - but using narrower chair models, Berkline 13175s).

+1 If I had the width, I would do curved seating in a heartbeat because it saves those at the outer edge from a crink in the neck or lounging sideways in the seat. I also really like to see the seats staggered to aid with clear sightlines between heads in the front row.
post #9 of 22
I have curved in the rear and straight in the front. Originally I had a 3 row in the back and a two row in the front both curved. I opted to change it up with a 3 straight in the front and a 3 curved in the back. I prefer this myself just don't like to sit in the middle in the front. The curved does take a bit more room. Probably about a 1'-2' in a 3 seater.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksharp4 View Post

I prefer this myself just don't like to sit in the middle in the front.


Why don't you enjoy the middle?
post #11 of 22
How much extra space does curved require ?? (Estimation?)
post #12 of 22
Middle doesn't have a cup holder or arm so there is no place to put your candy and drinks. I put the kids in the middle.

I would estimate that the curve with 3 seats vs straight with arms is about 1' different. Without arms it is about 2'
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
For four across, would you do two straight in the center and angled at the ends, or curved all the way across?
post #14 of 22
Either way works out well from the theaters I've been in.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

For four across, would you do two straight in the center and angled at the ends, or curved all the way across?
My personal preference is a little convoluted, but it may offer some perspectives you hadn't considered. Partly for space saving, and partly for versatility I would want a straight section in the middle with no arm rest. I think there's not much value in angling the center two seats of four, since they're in the center already (where are you pointing them?) The trapezoidal arm rest takes up too much space - you could still put in the straight rectangular arm rest, but I would leave it out altogether. That creates a love seat in the middle, which is good for sharing with your friend ( wink.gif ), saves the space of the armrest in the overall assembly, and for me, fits better. Obviously all seats will be slightly different, but my experience is that I won't use both armrests, and I'm actually bothered by having two. I'm not very wide, and don't fill the whole seat bottom. My elbows would be splayed out awkwardly trying to use both at the same time. On the other hand, using neither can be uncomfortable a well, since my elbows end up pressed between the inside of the arm rest and my sides. I fit more comfortably using only one - YMMV.

Full disclosure: this is a limited experience from which I draw these conclusions. The AMC at the swanky mall in Atlanta has reserved seating with power leather recliners, and this is the extent of my official seat time.

So I guess I'd do either all straight, or just curved on the ends. If you've got the space, I think the curve gives a nice stylistic flair, but I'm not sure it's worth the complication in design and construction for the riser and whatnot. What about the possibility that you upgrade seats at some point in the future? Is it safe to assume that the curve can be reasonably matched from any manufacturer?
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

Either way works out well from the theaters I've been in.

Awesome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

My personal preference is a little convoluted, but it may offer some perspectives you hadn't considered. Partly for space saving, and partly for versatility I would want a straight section in the middle with no arm rest. I think there's not much value in angling the center two seats of four, since they're in the center already (where are you pointing them?) The trapezoidal arm rest takes up too much space - you could still put in the straight rectangular arm rest, but I would leave it out altogether. That creates a love seat in the middle, which is good for sharing with your friend ( wink.gif ), saves the space of the armrest in the overall assembly, and for me, fits better. Obviously all seats will be slightly different, but my experience is that I won't use both armrests, and I'm actually bothered by having two. I'm not very wide, and don't fill the whole seat bottom. My elbows would be splayed out awkwardly trying to use both at the same time. On the other hand, using neither can be uncomfortable a well, since my elbows end up pressed between the inside of the arm rest and my sides. I fit more comfortably using only one - YMMV.

Full disclosure: this is a limited experience from which I draw these conclusions. The AMC at the swanky mall in Atlanta has reserved seating with power leather recliners, and this is the extent of my official seat time.

So I guess I'd do either all straight, or just curved on the ends. If you've got the space, I think the curve gives a nice stylistic flair, but I'm not sure it's worth the complication in design and construction for the riser and whatnot. What about the possibility that you upgrade seats at some point in the future? Is it safe to assume that the curve can be reasonably matched from any manufacturer?

These are good points, Fred! I had not considered what I would do if I needed to replace the chairs. I'm not sure if the curve is "standard", but I doubt it is considering that widths vary by brand and model.

I suspect the middle armrest will be a decision for SWMBO. I think I prefer them, but I tend to squirm around in the seat. I suspect my wife might want to go sans middle armrest, though.
post #17 of 22
Real men use both armrests and sit in the middle

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Real men use both armrests and sit in the middle


And wears sleeveless gold sparkly shirts with a phallic symbol on the upper left chest?? rolleyes.gif
post #19 of 22
Why yes biggrin.gif

Works on Ohura doesn't it?
post #20 of 22
I have both styles and I would say straight seating is a little better and saves on space slightly as well.
post #21 of 22
Straight seating all the way.
post #22 of 22
I have a narrower theater with curved in the front and and straight in the rear. I was a little nervous about a curved row of 2, but I actually like them as it angles you towards the center of the screen.

I think either can work well for you depending on layout and space allotment.
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