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Our three-step antique cinema seat refurbishment process

Before delivering fully refurbished theatre seats, we work on each individually to ensure they arrive ready for many more years use, whilst retaining their unique patina built up over many years of service. This work covers three main areas:

All cinema seats are dismantled so we can get a good look at anything that needs replacing or repairing and thoroughly prepare each piece for finishing.

  • Worn out fabric and old padding is removed along with many layers of dust and even the odd bit of ancient chewing gum, cigarette burns and graffiti.

  • All seats are thoroughly checked and repaired where necessary including replacing broken springs or split plywood.

  • The wooden frames go through three sanding stages to reveal the beautiful woodgrain, leaving the wood with a buttery smooth finish.

  • All cast iron fittings are shot blasted to remove any traces of chipped and fading paint, rust and chewing gum from the cast iron. This eco-friendly process, no chemicals are used, increases the lifetime of the paint finish on the cast iron.

Shot blasted cinema seat leg
Stripped vintage cinema seat from Orange Otter

Step 1: Stripping back

Gold painted cinema seat cast iron leg
Turquoise cinema seat wood detail

Step 2: Finishing

We take great pride in the quality of the finish on all parts our cinema seats.

  • All wood is re-stained and finished with a hardwax oil to nourish and strengthen the wood and leave the surface beautifully smooth to the touch.

  • Seat padding is replaced using natural materials sympathetic to those used when the seats were first built.

  • A protective fire retardant lining is then added underneath the finishing layer of luxurious soft velvet. As well as suiting the seats style and reflecting their past, all velvets we recommend are both hardwearing and fire retardant to meet modern safety standards.

  • The freshly stripped cast iron fittings are either handpainted or powder coated, depending on the paint finish and colour required.

The focus on quality continues as we reassemble the fully refurbished cinema seat parts.

  • The seats are reassembled onto a solid wooden board base to add stability. The board can also easily be removed once delivered if you would prefer to screw the seats directly into your floor.

  • Hidden pads are added to the cast iron to reduce the clang when seat bases swing up and down.

  • Everything is held firmly in place with top quality woodscrews that are carefully selected to suit your chosen leg colour.

Vintage Cinema Seat close up
Single vintage cinema seat from Orange Otter

Step 3: Rebuilding

Make vintage cinema seats your own
We've got a whole load of design inspiration for fabrics and fittings.

Ready to create your own unique seats?

Book your slot on our waiting list with a deposit of £50 per seat and we’ll work with you to create seats unique to you.

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