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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I thought I'd pass along some information on some seats available for cheap in the Philly area. The old Ambler Theater in Ambler PA is undergoing renovations. They have 1200 seats from when the thearter was built in 1928. These seats were refurbished sometime in the sixties.


In any case you can pick them up for a modest donation to the Ambler Theater Inc., a non-profit organization that's handling the renovations to the theater. Bernadette said that people were donating anywhere from $10 - $50 per seat.


I'm going to pickup 2 rows of four seats on Saturday. I haven't seen the seats yet but they apparently have cloth seats and backs, and are currently red in color. I'll post pictures as soon as I get them. If anyone else is interested contact Bernadette Dougherty at [email protected] .


Now I just have to finish the rest of the home theater to make room for the seats... Let's see. I need to ceiling mount the CRT, remote locate the components, install permanent wall-mounted screen, build platform for seats, etc. etc.etc... :)


Later,

Eric
 

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I picked up a row of 8 seats this morning and thought I'd post some details for those who are still on the fence...


They are disassembling the seats completely, so you can pick and choose among the available parts & hardware. This also makes them pretty easy to transport.


The seat backs & cushions are worn, but are still in pretty good condition. They are very dusty, and some have significant gum spots & paint stains. Most do not have holes. The sooner you get there, the better the choice will be ;)


It looks like the supports are cast iron, and are in good working condition. They have a relatively limited number of end pieces (decorative, single hinge units), but the middle pieces can have the 2nd hinge removed. They have painted (red) and "less" painted (brown w/red highlights) versions of the end supports. The supports are all very dirty and covered with cobwebs. There is some gum on the hardware, but much less than I expected :) The seats were installed in a sloped floor, so the front legs are longer than the back - this will need to be considered when mounting them.


The armrest covering/padding can be removed to reveal the original finished wood armrests.


Below is the text of a detailed advertisement, installation instructions are available at the theater.


Jeff

Ambler Movie Seats Available

Here is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of the old Ambler Movie Theater. Built in 1928, this 1200 seat movie theater was a state of the art theater with upholstered seats, a grand organ, and tastefully decorated interior. The movie house was sold in December 2001 to a non-profit group, Ambler Theater, Inc., and is in the process of being completely refurbished. To that end, a new floor needs to be poured and new HVAC, new plumbing, etc., needs to be added. Therefore, the original seats cannot be used and Ambler Theater Inc. would like to offer them in return for a contribution.

About These Seats:

These theater seats are a part of Ambler's history. We believe these were the original theater seats, built by the American Seating Company (still in business) and installed when the theater was built in 1928. Sometime in the 1960's , the seats were reupholstered and the original wooden arms were covered with padding. They are red now, bu they may have originally been brown, based on a few pieces we have found that seem never to have been repainted.


The seats are not spring-loaded like modern theater seats; they stay in the up or down position when you put them there. You'll also find that they're springer and have lower backs than modern movie seats. And no, there were no cupholders in 1928 - although there was plenty of gum.

How much should I donate?

The amount of your donation is entirely up to you, but please, give generously. The theater renovation is costing millions of dollars, and will need a lot of support from the community to be successful.

How big are they?

Each seat is roughly 20" across. They're only about 15" deep when they are folded up, and may make an attractive addition to an entryway, basement or home theater.

Do they need to be refurbished?

Most of the seats are in fairly good shape and are still quite comfortable, and will need only a good cleaning. But you may wish to reupholster or repaint them to get them looking as good as they were originally. The cushions come off with only a screwdriver, so re-upholstering could be an easy do-it-yourself project. You may wish to pull the padding off the arms to expose the original wood armrests.

Do I need a big truck in order to get them home?

We have broken down the seats into parts, so you should not need a lot of space: you could probably fit 4 seats or more into a compact car and reassemble them at home with a screwdriver.

How do I pick them up and reassemble them?

Instructions are provided on the reverse side to help you pick out all the parts you need, put them back together, and install them. You will need a phillips screwdriver and perhaps a few other tools, depending on whether you want to mount them on the floor.

For more information: Contact Bernadette Dougherty at 215-641-1070 or at [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I was there this morning as well. Actually I was probably there for an hour and a half before I got some that I liked and thought were suitable for refurbishing and rebuilding. I left around 12:30 or so I guess.


In any case I've got some digital pictures of the various parts that I'm linking into this post for those that are interested...


Seat Backs...
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ecfinn...ater/Back1.jpg
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ecfinn...ater/Back2.jpg


Seat Cushons...
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ecfinn...r/Cushion1.jpg
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ecfinn...r/Cushion2.jpg


Frames...
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ecfinn.../Supports1.jpg
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/ecfinn.../Supports2.jpg


Personally I like them and think that after refinishing they'll end up being quite a nice addition to my otherwise uncompleted theater. :)


Later,


Eric Finn
 

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I drove down on Sunday after my brother-in-law was there Saturday to give me first-hand information on the condition of the seats. I must say the seats I got were in much better shape than I expected. They're quite comfortable as well. When I left there were at least a third of the seats remaining, probably half. Bernadette didn't know how long they would be able to keep the remaining seats since demolition of the floor is to start this week. For anyone that may be on the fence trying to decide whether or not to get some seats...GO FOR IT! You won't be disappointed. Plus your donation is tax deductible and would go to a worthy cause. I'm in no way affiliated with the Ambler Theater, Inc., they are just some really nice people trying to save a wonderful old movie barn.


Sean
 

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Those sound quite good.


My quota of seats in my little theatre has reached it's maximum, otherwise I'd be sorely temted to get some.. even with shipping!


I Also got some art deco like seats from the 30's. I recommend using rich purple/burgundy velvet like material on them.. they can look very nice.. and these are very comfy. And without cupholders.. =
 
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