One of the most obvious rules in life is that buying a couch that reclines in any way, and particularly if it does so by using a prominent pull-handle on the side, is basically announcing that you’re old. Much like wearing socks with sandals, it matters not how comfortable you might be, you just can’t go there without shouting to the world: “I’ve given up”, which makes choosing the seating for your home cinema a fraught exercise. For some reason, most home-cinema seats seem to be designed to resemble the naff units found in Gold Class cinemas.
Fortunately, as Damian Cavanagh, managing director of Brisbane’s Electronic Living, explains, you’re only stuck with ugliness if you take the cheap, mass-produced option. “Basically there are two markets for cinema chairs, the ones which range from $1000 to $2500 and offer value for money, but not quality. Then there’s what we call our premium range, which can range from $5500 a chair, in leather, right through to $20,000,” he says. Yes, that’s per chair, and you’ll be wanting at least four, typically.
However you can also add more optimisation, with things like refrigerated cupholders, in-arm fridges, customised LED strip lighting, USB ports and built-in touch screens to control your multimedia.
Or you might want to eschew the whole boring recliner thing and go for a Cuddle Couch (from Elite Theater Seating) instead, which “lets you lie down, flip around and stretch out under a cosy blanket” and can accommodate two adults and one small child.
Cavanagh says choosing your seats is the most important part of designing your own cinema, of course, but not just for comfort reasons. “They are the most important component because you have to choose and locate the seating first, whether it’s in a house or on your yacht (we do a lot of cinemas on yachts now, it’s all the rage), so that once you know where the humans’ ears will be, you can build the acoustic engineering around that,” Cavanagh says.
Read more about Home Theatre Seating and DBox.