Custom Private Cinema Seating

The “Suspension of Disbelief”…

                      Begins with Your Seat.

The ultimate cinema experience requires that the audience achieve what has been referred to as “the suspension of disbelief” – in other words, the audience must be “fooled” into mentally and emotionally believing that what they are experiencing when watching, hearing and feeling a film is real.

The critical role theater seating plays
in achieving the suspension of disbelief…

When the lights go down, the more aware you are of your physical surroundings the less likely you are to achieve the suspension of disbelief – and that includes suspending your sensory connection to the room through your seat. This is why it is important to be reclined – ideally, your entire body must be “suspended” and your feet should not be touching the floor. If your feet are on the floor then you are still physically “connected” to the room and your surroundings, as a subtle distraction that prevents the audience from achieving the suspension of disbelief.

Seating is not just a style consideration –
it’s also an integral part of the overall performance of your theater.

Private cinema seating can be one of the most visually striking elements of your dedicated home theater.  But choosing the right seating for your theater is far more than merely selecting recliners that are stylish or “extra-comfy”.  There are unique requirements that should be seriously considered when choosing your seating that will directly affect the overall performance and enjoyment of your private cinema experience. There are 2 key areas to consider when choosing your cinema seating: a) the cinema recliner itself and, b) the seating arrangement as an integral part of the total theater system and room design.

When Selecting the Cinema Recliner Itself…

Having rows of recliners with drink holders and shared arms that happen to be sitting inside of a home theater doesn’t automatically qualify them as being real theater seating – any more than standing in a garage makes you a car! And unlike living room recliners found in most furniture showrooms, luxury cinema recliners for dedicated private theaters have specialized design requirements that are unique to home theater applications. As an example, cinema recliners should be firm enough to support you yet soft enough to not be fatiguing over longer periods of movie viewing. When a theater seat strikes a perfect balance between comfort and support, your body will be more apt to reach a state of “floatation” or suspension that will remove the seat itself as a distraction to your prolonged viewing enjoyment.


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Cinema Seating as an Integral Part of the Overall Theater Design

One of the most common mistakes made when planning a serious home cinema is when the home theater design has been fully developed before the seating has been determined and a properly engineered seating plan has been laid out. The seating plan should include mechanical drawings that include both “Plan” and “Elevation” views of the proposed seating layout, in order to ensure that several critical performance and viewing comfort criteria have been effectively addressed. Ideally, the seating system selection and layout in the room should always be decided as early on in the theater design process as possible.

Here are some critical performance decisions that are inter-dependent with respect to the overall seating system design and layout process:

Sightlines Analysis as a function
of the overall theater design process

Vertical Subtended Viewing Angles – Elevation View

Horizontal Subtended Viewing Angles – Plan View



If you would be interested in learning more about how CinemaForté can help you select and/or design your private cinema seating system for your home, please contact us toll free at 855-335-5509 or email us at or click here to send us a request to have one of our design experts contact you directly.


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