Home Theater FAQ: Choosing the Best Seating Type and Placement


Create a Stylish Space that Facilitates Longtime Comfort for the Whole Family

We’ve said it before: Commercial cinemas are currently in free fall, which has inevitably pushed home theaters into the limelight. A private theater isn’t just a great investment to consider as we spend more time at home; it’s a great investment for any time! What’s not to love about enjoying an immersive movie-watching experience without having to leave the house?

If you’re tinkering with the idea, we can help. As a leading home theater company serving Park City and the surrounding areas in Utah, we know a thing or two about creating a standout home entertainment environment. In this blog, we’re rounding out a three-part series on home theaters by answering your common questions on seating and placement. After all, the seats you purchase and where you put them will determine every other decision you make to create a stellar movie-watching experience.

Read our answers to your common home theater seating questions below and check out part one on audio and part two on displays.


How Many Seats Do I Need?

Before choosing the number of seats, you must first consider the number of people you want to comfortably accommodate. Do you want just enough seats for your family of four? Or do you want to create a home theater that can fit extended family and guests, too? Of course, this consideration goes hand-in-hand with your room size. You’ll need to know how much space you’re working with.

Depending on room size, you have several options for seating numbers. You can go small with a single-row pillow-back lounger, or you can sit 15+ people with three rows of theater-style chairs and even some bar seating in the back. The configuration options are vast! Keep in mind that you’ll want to have ample room for walking space—about 18” to 24” of space from the walls, as well as between rows.

Where Should the Seats Be Placed?

Seats should be placed in a way that offers every person a comfortable and immersive movie-watching experience—no matter which chair they choose to sit in. If seats are too close, you’ll experience eye and neck strain. If seats are too far away, you’ll lose some benefits of having a high-definition display.

The seats you choose and where you place them will determine how large your screen should be. Seats should be about 1.5 to 3 times the screen height measurement away from your display for a widescreen cinema experience. Take note that this is a general calculation and your ideal seating distances may vary. You’ll also need risers for tiered seating so that everyone has a clear view of the screen.

Your seats should also ensure a balanced bass response and prevent localized surround sound. While it’s impossible to perfectly optimize audio for every seat, you can focus on the primary listening position (the first row) which will, in effect, offer similar performance for the secondary listening position (elevated rows). Place seats in such a way that your front left, front right, and center-channel speakers are at ear level and aimed at the primary listening position. Additionally, your surrounds should be to the left and right of your seats, or a few feet behind, and placed one or two feet above ear level. It’s best to place seats first and then determine proper speaker placement for an optimized auditory experience.

What Kind of Seats Should I Get?

One perk of having your own home theater is getting to be creative with your seating. Brands like Fortress, Salamander Designs, and CinemaTech offer an intense catalog of practically any theater seat you can dream up. Loungers, chaises, sofas, and motorized theater seats are possible. If you have space, get comfortable with a row of recliners. You can also choose incliners, which bring up the footrest and shift the back of the seat slightly downward for a reclined feel without the need for lots of space.

Choose from a variety of fabrics and materials, and even define your own arrangements. You get to be the designer. Plus, many seats come with accessories like cup holders, USB charging ports, reading lights, outlets, and the like. However, keep in mind that your seats should be built for longtime comfort. You’ll need proper head and feet rests, as well as deep seat pans for hours-long entertainment escapes.

SEE ALSO: Why Sony Is the Best Choice for Your Home Entertainment

To create your dream home theater, starting with seating is a must because it’s the one thing you can’t adjust. Get the help you need by reaching out to our AV experts at Show & Tell! We’d love to talk with you about your vision. Contact us here or send us a live chat below to speak with a team member today.

We hope you enjoyed this three-part series on common home theater questions. For more blogs like this one, as well as other fun content covering the latest innovations in home technology, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social!

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