The Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre © Hufton + Crow, 2018

Auditorium Seating – Refurbish or Replace?

April 16, 2020 10:01 am Published by

The Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre © Hufton + Crow, 2018

Today’s entertainment industry is highly competitive. Between other entertainment venues and the plethora of books, movies and TV shows on our mobile phones, theatres are having to work harder than ever to appeal to customers and keep up appearances. If theatres and performing arts venues fail to maintain the highest standards, consumers have plenty of alternative options that they can now turn to instead. This makes it essential that theatres deliver the best experience, from the performance to the theatre seating (which is what we will discuss in this guide).

Even the greatest theatre show can be ruined by poor seating. If seating has too much wear and tear it can ruin the feeling of the theatre and an uncomfortable seat is very distracting. Thankfully there are a few options for theatre operators when it comes to providing great quality seats – theatre seating refurbishments or replacements. Whilst having two great options seems like a positive it also poses a challenge, choosing which is best for you. In this guide, we will discuss both and hopefully offer some clarity on which suits your requirements best.


Seating Refurbishment

Most venues tend to have the same seating for quite some time so natural wear and tear is common. You must consider the style of the venue when considering refurbishing or replace your seating. Despite your theatre honing in on that ‘classic’ look, nobody wants to sit on seats that have stuffing coming out of them, you must endeavour to maintain your theatre seating in every which way you can.

Seating refurbishment is ideal for those who are happy with their current set up but may need an upgrade. This can include reupholstering seating or replacing any existing chairs and benches that may have been damaged or broken. It can also be to the extent of re-carpeting your platforms and upgrading your trims and fascia’s, to make it look fresh and tidy.

If you’re happy with the way your seating looks, but it is just in need of some adjustments and care, seating refurbishment may be the option for you.


Seating Replacement

Sometimes, venues may want a complete overhaul or may be looking at beginning to upgrade aspects of their space and seating is almost always an element that is included. You wouldn’t expect a venue to go under an entire reconstruction and for it to come out with the same old seats, would you? This is one of the main reasons why a venue may choose a seating replacement over a refurbishment.

Seating replacements are just that, a replacement of your entire seating offering. Often, these occur because the venue wants to create a new ‘look’ or ‘feel’ to their premises. Perhaps they’re wanting to increase capacity to generate additional revenue or even change their entire colour scheme, all great reasons to upgrade and change your seating.

Seating replacements require thought and you must bring in professionals to assist you along the way to ensure you choose the right option available. Whether you’re installing new lecture theatre seating, upgrading your theatre or adding some Retractable Seating to an indoor space, ensure you’re installing what’s best by working with those that understand all aspects of seating design.


Knowing which route is best to take usually starts with looking at the overall picture. Are you enhancing your entire venue, giving it a new lease of life? Or are you simply looking to tidy things up a bit to make it more visually appealing to your customers? This will help you understand whether you need an entire seating replacement, or a simple refurbish.

Categorised in:

This post was written by Mike Lewis