Whether you are setting up a corporate event, training sessions, or any other type of event, the seating arrangement makes a huge difference.

The theatre seating arrangement is one of the flexible yet simplest seating styles which you can adopt – regardless of the type and size of the event you’re looking to host.

If you plan to invest in a theatre seating system for your venue, read this guide till the end.

What Is Theatre Style Seating?

Theater-style seating is the most common event layout, comprised of chairs aligned in consecutive rows, arcs, or circles generally facing a single direction in the venue space.

Generally, there are no tables or desks used in theater-style seating and, therefore, easiest to set-up.

When Theatre Seating Layout Will Deliver The Most Comfortable And The Best Experience for Your Audience?

The theater-style seating layout is a popular choice for events such as a presentation or a product launch, where the stage is the focal point and guests are there to be an observer, not participate – they may get the best view.

Furthermore, theatre seating layout is one of the most frequently used room layouts when maximizing space.

Figure 1 Theatre Style Seating

Figure 1 Theatre Style Seating

What Factors To Consider Setting Up A Theater Style Seating?

Regardless of the seating arrangement you choose, there are general guidelines you must adapt for your theater-style seating:

  • Sightline: Give your audience a clear view of the stage even if a taller person sits in front of them. This is done by offsetting the rows from one another.
  • Easy passing by: Make it easier for guests to enter in and exit out of their rows if they want to leave early or go to the bathroom etc. – a minimum of 24 inches row spacing is required.
  • Placement of the performer: Consider where the performer will be so that you can determine the sightlines and placement of the first seat.


Considering the above three main factors will help you choose the right theater-style seating.

When to Use a Theatre-Style Seating Arrangement?

As the name suggests, it reflects the seating style you commonly find in theaters and cinemas; however, it is used in meetings of all types and various other events.

When your event aims to capture the audience’s attention, using a theatre seating arrangement helps reach that goal.

Theatre-style seating is best suited for the following types of meetings

  • Product launches
  • Conferences
  • Team briefings
  • Presentations
  • Annual general/review meetings
  • Wedding ceremonies

Because a theatre-style seating arrangement lacks tables and additional furniture, it is best suited for informational or promotional meetings that don’t require extensive note-taking.

Theater-style seating is not used for:

  • Brainstorming meetings
  • Book clubs
  • Birthday parties

How Wide Is A Theatre Seat?

The width of theater seats is between 19 and 22-inches, depth is 20 to 22 inches, and height is 36 to 40 inches, as per industry standards.

However, dimensions are tailored according to your venue size, the number of spectators, and the room’s layout.

Avant – known as the best theater seating manufacturers can offer various chair shapes and sizes, keeping comfort and quality our top priority.

What Are The Different Types of Theatre Seating?

Each theater has designated seating levels; larger theater has more levels, small theatre houses might be relatively tiny with seating arrangements installed around a platform stage.

There are four general categories of theater seats that you must plan to set up.

1. The stalls – first level of seating

The stalls are closest to the stage situated on the ground floor.

This first level of theatre seating has some of the best seats; however, sitting too close to the stage might create a problem for the audience, which means they’ll have to look up to view the performance.

2. The royal circle – the second level of seating

The royal circle seats are generally more expensive, as they offer good views of the stage.

Being one level up the ground gives the audience a better sightline; however, the best seats are generally those set up a few rows back of the stage (towards the middle of the stalls).

3. The grand circle – the third level of tiered seating

Some larger theatres have a grand circle. Seats are further from the stage but offer nice views of the performance.

4. Boxes

Boxes are usually situated on the same level as the second level of seating ‘royal circle.’

 Not only can boxes offer private space and a luxurious experience to relax but also give a clear view of the performance.

Remember, these seats are level with the side of the stage which means the audience may not always get the best view of the action.

Figure 2 Types Of Theatre Seating

Figure 2 Types Of Theatre Seating

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages of Theatre Seating?

You’d probably know there are advantages and disadvantages to each seating style so theatre seating has both.


There are several reasons why theater seating can improve your event.

  • The presenter can easily see everyone and call on anyone.
  • It helps maintain your audience’s focuses in the right place because the seats are facing towards the stage.
  • It helps people get to know their neighbors sitting to their left and right.
  • It ensures maximum seating capacity because the seats are installed quite close together – very economical for your venue space. Likewise, due to the lack of tables, attendees get more space to accommodate themselves comfortably.
  • It also keeps everyone quiet because people who’re sitting next to each other could communicate only, thus maintaining discipline throughout the event.

Among the top advantages of this seating system is that all theatre seats face forward towards the stage. This way, every attendee has a clear sightline of what is happening.

Due to this reason, many corporate planners prefer theatre seating arrangement over classroom-style seating. After all, attendee satisfaction is vital for corporate meetings.

Did you know?

91 percent of all business meeting success depends on this factor alone. 


There are several reasons why theater seating might not be a good fit for your event.

  • The audience might feel trouble reaching the exit point or going to the bathroom because they’ll need to push a few other guests sitting in the same row.
  • Aisles might get jammed quickly and can also take up valuable venue space.
  • Each seat has limited capacity, and there’s no enough space for people to place their personal stuff like a computer, notebook, jackets or book bags, etc., which might irritate attendees.
  • People will just be able to talk to their neighbors, as everyone else is facing forward, so theatre-style seating isn’t great for fueling discussion.


How Theatre Seating Enhances the Audience Experience?

When designing theatres, the first thing you’ll need to consider is “seating arrangement.”

The type of seating can have a huge impact on your audience’s overall theatre experience and either engage them or detract from a performance.

Following, you’ll learn a few top reasons why theatre seating layout should be a vital consideration in designing any theatre.


All attendees must have a clear view of the stage – free from obstructions/distractions.   

Tiered theatre seating that is arranged in sloping tiers allows every attendee to have a clear sightline.

The first level of seating is set up in front of the stage and gradually slopes upwards, with seats for spectators, towards the back of the auditorium.

This theatre seating design feature helps ensure that each individual gets a good view of the stage.


Accessible theatre seats are spaces specifically designed for people with disabilities and include additional features such as an accessible approach, larger dimensions, location at grade, and clear floor space.  

Many theatres now consider adding removable seats, which helps create more seating choices for wheelchair users and provide them the best experience possible – you can design seats near the exit and other areas such as the bar and toilet.


The modern theatre seating designs allow theatres to accommodate a large audience without compromising their comfort.

High seating capacity in theatres means more tickets are available for performance, which keeps ticket prices low (the best part of high-capacity seating) and makes your theatre performances more accessible to individuals.


The audience indeed expects a certain level of comfort at each theatre performance, whether for long or short hours.

If they are seated uncomfortably, they are likely to move around more often to get that comfort level, which will annoy other attendees.

Likewise, any level of discomfort will detract their attention from the performance; therefore, you must provide a comfortable theatre seating experience to each attendee that further encourages them to attend more events in the future.

What Is Fixed Theater Style Seating?

In general, fixed theater seating is just what it sounds like, not portable or stackable.

This seating style more strictly focuses audience attention on performer standing “on stage.”

If you have got a lower-capacity room, theatre seats are typically bolted and secured to the floor in straight rows, considering an ideal balance between your audience’s seating capacity and comfort. 

For larger venues, both semi-circular and linear layouts use space very efficiently by keeping patrons facing the performers regardless of where they sit.

From theatrical productions to product launches, seating always impacts communication. This is why the theatre-style layout is a popular choice for company presentations and other events as it better focuses audience attention on the presenter and away from nearby attendees.

Figure 3 Fixed Theater Style Seating

Figure 3 Fixed Theater Style Seating

How Will You Compute Total Number of Seats In Fixed Theatre Style Seating?

When all rows are of equal length, you can easily determine the total number of theatre seats without counting them one by one.

Start by counting seats in a row, and multiply it by the total rows.

Let’s suppose there are 15 rows with 20 seats in each row, you have (15 x 20 = 300 total seats).

In case the numbers of seats are different in each row, you can add or subtract as necessary.

For example, if you have 15 rows in total out of which 13 rows have 20 seats each, but two rows have 18 seats each, you can get the total number of seats by subtracting four seats from the total figure (300 – 4 = 296).

Note that the number of theatre seats you can install in each row is dependent on the following factors

  • the number of aisles
  • the depth of seaways
  • the dimensions of the room and other factors.

What Is Retractable Theater Seating?

Retractable theatre seating, also known as a multi-purpose seating platform can be folded away when it is not used. 

This type of seating aims to maximize the venue space; in fact, it’s best for temporary events. 

Figure 4 Retractable Theater Seating

Figure 4 Retractable Theater Seating

Which Type of Seating Is Best for Your Educational Setting?

Lecture theatre seating is becoming the forefront of higher education settings, whether you need seating for your university, college, or school theatres.

Students these days demand luxury and comfortable accommodation in lecture theatres; therefore, upgrading the student seating experience is essential for you.

Types of Lecture Theatre Seating

As a leading manufacturer of lecture theatre seating, we offer both fixed and retractable theatre seating for your educational venue. 

#1 Fixed Lecture Theatre Seating

Although many universities have experimented with different seating styles, fixed lecture theatre seating is specified in all well-renowned educational institutions worldwide and remains the most popular choice for various good reasons.

#2 Retractable Lecture Theatre Seating

If you’ve multi-purpose venue space, retractable lecture theatre seating is a perfect seating solution, enabling the rows to be retracted when required and keeping the floor open for multiple activities.

Why do People Demand Fixed Lecture Theatre Seating More Than Retractable Seating?

Fixed lecture theatre seating is the best option for a number of following reasons. 

1. Low Maintenance

Unlike retractable seating platforms, which require frequent inspection and maintenance, a fixed seating unit has no mechanical parts for the required movement; thus, there is no need for regular maintenance or replacement of parts over the lifetime.

2. Maximum Use of the Space

Because fixed lecture seating is fixed together in rows so there’s no extra space left between the seats which help you maximize seating capacity of the venue.

Each seating row is manufactured uniform in height and depth to create a design best using your space – seat widths are tailored to your requirements but subject to industry-standard minimum width requirements.

3. Comfort and durability

Unlike the hard wooden seats used in the olden days, today’s lecture chairs are manufactured to ensure student’s comfort level who may have to sit for several hours in theatres – this type of seating promotes active learning.  

Discomfort chairs are a major distraction to students; thus, with a strong, premium quality metal frame and deeply cushioned backs and seats, lecture theatre seating offers your students comfort and durability.

Whether your lecture rooms are small or large, our engineers can tailor lecture theatre seating as per your needs.

Is Theatre Seating Used For Worship?

Church theater seating adds comfort and elegance to an open space, thus creates a traditional worshipful setting.

Figure 5 Church Theater Seating

Figure 5 Church Theater Seating

When planning seating for your church, consider whether you need to install fixed seating (that comes in both chair and pew styles) and/or multi-purpose fold-up seating that easily allows people to move in the rows.

Removable theatre seats make storage more efficient and are the best solution for a church that requires multi-purpose seating needs.

With ergonomic design today, some portable theater seats are hook together to prevent them from moving out of place, making it flexible and effortless church seating for worshipers.

How to Care For Theatre Seats?

Maintaining the leather of your theatre seats should be your topmost priority. If left unmaintained, the seats get the worst of it – dirty and sticky.  

Theatre Seats Cleaning Tips

#1 Suck It Up

If a lot of the dirt, hair, and other bad things are on the surface of your theatre seats, what will you do?

It’s obvious that when you have messy seats, you might reach for the soap first. Don’t do that; instead, you should suck it up with the vacuum.

If you immediately start washing with soap, you might just end up with more dirt in or around, so vacuuming first will first suck all the bad from on the surface, after which you’ll notice an instant improvement in the seat.

#2 Use Soda

For cinema seats, it is not recommended to use soda spills but you can use a different kind of “soda” – bicarbonate of soda is the easiest way to clean upholstery.

Here’s how you do it.

First, you should vacuum theatre seats properly, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over affected areas and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Again, you’ll need to vacuum the seat to clean the bicarbonate of soda. And you’re done!

#3 Check the Warnings

If you aren’t willing to use soda, there are many other simple cleaning methods too, including trying soap and water.

However, it is vital to check the label of your theatre seats before adopting any cleaning method.

After all, not all upholstery is the same. Ask your manufacturer to get some advice on what cleaning agent to use (and what not to use).

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Theatre Seats

  • DO use a premium quality leather cleaner
  • DO wipe your seats down often
  • DO NOT wipe a spill
  • DO NOT use products containing silicones, oils, or waxes

How Much Does Theatre Seat Cost?

There are generally different price ranges for theatre seating – low, medium, and high. In the mid-range segment, the price per seat varies from $350-$650.

At the low-end spectrum, the price per seat varies from $150-$35.

Finally, a high-end chair typically costs $650-$1,100 per seat.

These price ranges are for a standard model chair, and no additional cost included. However, the price depends upon your customization needs as there are many features available that can significantly impact the chair’s cost.

All of our theatre seats are constructed from exceptionally durable fabrics and are also stain-resistant. Moreover, our chairs are available in a wide range of color schemes so that you can get maximum compatibility with the decor in the theatre.

Avant Seating offers commercial theatre seating projects at affordable prices even though their manufacturing requires a lot of upfront planning and preparation.

We hope this informative guide will help you make the right choice.

Get Your Quote Today

Get Your Quote Today