Dining Room Cinema Seating

Sorry this one's a bit late, folks. there also won't be a post this weekend, hopefully after this I'll get back into a rhythm again.

When I moved into my last flat, I had a little money left over and a proper lounge area for the first time, so I decided rather than getting a TV I would put in a projector.

It was the perfect setup, with a long stretch of room, a nice big smooth wall, and with a couple of sofas off Gumtree...

...and some theatrical accessories...

..it made a great cinema which could accomodate my whole family and particularly my little nieces and nephew for a Saturday matinee.

When I started looking for a house I quickly realised that for my price range and the area I wanted to live I would almost certainly end up in a terrace, and at first I was concerned that movie sessions would have to come to an end. But after a lot of calculation and experimentation and a lot of diagrams like these...

...and peculiar spacing experiments like this...

...I decided that I could make it work.

And once I was moved in (and the water draining through the roof and a few other slightly more urgent issues were resolved), I started working out the seating. The dining room was the perfect space for my purposes, but I would need seats for up to 12 in a very small area, which would ideally also function as chairs for the dining table, AND be comfortable enough for a leisurely movie session.

There were points in this process where genuine madness set in.

(Sidenote: I cannot even remotely afford vintage Czechoslovakian cinema seats)

At one point I came within moments of ordering 12 gaming chairs with which to fill my dining room.

But fortunately sanity prevailed and I found these lightweight loveseats online, which fit perfectly into the space. They were high and firm enough to act as dining room seating, and comfortable for even a lengthy viewing session.

The only problem was this remarkably ugly pressed-vomit-style marble hearth stone, protruding into the room. To fit as far back as I wanted some of the back legs of the seats would have to sit up on it, which meant the other legs would have to be supported.

I toyed with making simple boots for the legs, but I didn't like increasing the leverage on them. So I settled for wooden support bars which would keep (all but one of) the legs coupled together in pairs rather than causing them to splay out under weight.

So I nearly crippled myself carrying three pieces of very solid timber home from B&Q (having made the classic mistake of thinking they'd feel the same after half a mile as after walking to the end of the shelving...

...cut them to length on my table saw (now happily ensconced in the incredibly unsafe near-pitch-black of my new cellar)...

...and found a spade bit which matched the rough diameter of the seat legs.

Since the bottoms of the legs had little plastic domes on them which made them easy to move around but tended to rattle and skitter out of the holes, I used a countersink bit to round out the bottom of the holes making a nice snug fit.

And so the first bar was complete, and functioned rather nicely!

The rest were simple copies, although one seat on the end was a problem being very snug up against the wall, to the point where it had to sit over the top of the edge trim for the flooring.

I eyeballed a couple of marks then extended them the width of the wood, and just hand-sawed out a corner to sit over the trim.

With a bit over an hour's work, all the bars were in place...

...and the cinema seating was complete, with the added advantage of now being tiered!

As a small improvement I added silicone pads to the bars to stop them moving around when the seats were used.

See you soon!

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