Lap of Luxury: ‘FJI’ looks at the market for deluxe cinema recliners

Features
Technology

Film Journal International asked leading cinema chair manufacturers to tell us about their top-of-the-line offerings in the fast-growing category of luxury recliners. We also invited them to share some tips on the care and maintenance of this plush new generation of theatre chairs.

Dolphin Seating

Dolphin Seating has the largest selection of VIP-type seating available in the market for the best prices with the best eight-year factory warranty. Contact Edwin Snell at 505-620-1118 or edwin@dolphinseating.com to discuss your seating needs. See our full line of seating at www.dolphinseating.com.

 

Euro Group UK

Euro Group UK’s state-of-the-art Prince Recliner offers dual motor technology, allowing separate seat/footrest and backrest adjustment, providing the optimum viewing position. The headrest self-adjusts inside the frame as the chair is reclined.A built-in foldaway footrest enables easy cleaning without needing an independent cleaning system. It has the highest-quality components, solid beech frame, and steel sprung core.

The Prince Recliner addresses all safety requirements:

• Thermal resistance cut-out on motors

• Optical infrared cut-out “failsafe”

• Piston-operated footrest, eliminating weakness/finger traps inherent with inferior scissor actions

• Combustion modified high-resilient super-soft foam, meeting all fire tests.

• Auto-reset, leaving the walkways clear

• Tested structurally to BS8474.

The Prince Recliner is available in leather, faux leather and velvets. Also, custom embroidery, futuristic “iSwitch,” or LED backlit niches with stainless-steel logos, patents pending. (Eurogroup.co.uk)

What’s the first thing you advise regarding maintenance?

Take out a maintenance contract with us rather than an ad-hoc call-out—it is far more cost-effective this way. The maintenance not only prolongs the life of a chair, it prevents accidents and reduces “out of action” and off-sale numbers (this often pays for the cost of the maintenance).

What steps should exhibitors take to maintain a long life for their recliners?

Education: Try to encourage patrons not to sit on the footrests when extended—although our piston design allows for more abuse than the typical scissor-type actions (which we do not use), it is still a case of prevention is better than cure. If possible, a small sign or text on the back of a ticket or even a small printed usage guide left in the cupholders could prove a worthwhile investment; this can then include tips on safe use as well. We also offer cans of a specialist spray cleaner for faux leather, and for real leather we encourage the use of leather feed on a regular basis. Often an operator’s cleaning contractor will use the wrong type of harmful and abrasive cleaning agents on the fabrics—this has to be stopped at source through proper training and purchase of the correct cleaning agents.

What do exhibitors need to know about the electrical systems in reclining chairs?Well, they will always be low-voltage, which is a good starting point, but as with all things electrical, we would only ever advise operators to contract professional electricians for maintenance of the wiring feeds and for our service personnel to carry out repairs on the chairs themselves—to do otherwise would invalidate warranties and be dangerous!

Under proper care, what is the expected life of your reclining chair?

Probably 12 years, subject to fair wear and tear. Why do we say this? We set about building one of the safest and strongest chairs on the market following dreadful experiences of importing cheaper brands as a distributor, and I believe we have achieved this. We put our early prototypes in for structural testing to British Standards months ago; they passed months ago but they are still going. The test will not stop until the chair fails.

What kind of warranty do you offer?

We offer a realistic and conservative five years on the upholstery and framework but also offer extended warranties and fair-priced maintenance contracts. Ours are genuine warranties—we will not offer ten years plus and then blame everything on vandalism and misuse as some do!

What is the average cost of repairs?

We believe our philosophy of making the best all-round chair for the market will mean the lowest repair costs will follow. If you factor in the huge savings to be made in cleaning contracts due to our chair’s unique design, even with maintenance costs our chairs could still effectively be free after a period of time.

And did I mention we have the “iSwitch?” Beautiful design, tactile, easy to use color-changing touch interface…

—Grahame Jenkins, Managing Director

 

Ferco Seating

Ferco Seating’s top-of-the-line electric recliner, Verona Zero Wall, is designed with a single motor that moves the seat forward and down into a reclined position. It allows the seat to be placed right up against walls and risers. With a fully reclined length of 1460mm, this innovative seat is especially suited for cinemas with small row spacing. The Verona Zero Wall also comes with the handy option to install our premium enclosure panel for twin-seaters, making it cozy and perfect for couples. (FercoSeating.com)

 

First Class Seating

Experience unparalleled comfort with First Class Seating. We are bringing your household zero-gravity recliner to the theatre, but with commercial-grade quality and durability. The Bliss Zero creates a zero-gravity seating position by reclining through a pivoting motion. Like all Bliss Loungers, the design of Bliss Zero is based on NASA human ergonomics studies and the neutral body position. The Bliss Lounger experience is incomparable to other luxury loungers in the theatre industry, and Bliss will keep each theatregoer coming back for more. (FirstClassSeating.com)

What steps should exhibitors take to maintain a long life for their recliners?

Normal maintenance and cleaning will prolong the life of our product line. Cleaning daily as well as bi-monthly inspections of product hardware are advised.

What do exhibitors need to know about the electrical systems in reclining chairs?

Keep cords up and off the ground, preventing any damage from cleaning under chairs as well as liquid spills. Make sure products are UL-approved or going through the process to ensure no issues with inspections as well as product failure. The Bliss Lounger is currently going through UL certifications.

Under proper care, what is the expected life of your reclining chair?

Being that our chair is a commercial-grade lounger, we believe that the guts of the chair will last 10 to 20 years, dependent on care and maintenance.

What kind of warranty do you offer, and what is the average cost of repairs?

Warranty and costs of repairs are dependent on what needs to be fixed.

—Tyler Robinson, Regional Account Manager

 

Inorca

Inorca provides the comfort and look of a VIP recliner with footrest combined with the strength and reliability of a chair specified for cinema use. We offer manual and electric versions, head support for optimal sightlines, and deluxe upholstery with the widest selection of stitching designs. Also, fixed and swivel tables on HPL, tempered glass or marble type, plus metal cupholders and multiple other options. The double version includes a retractable central armrest and padded cushion between seats for the perfect loveseat experience! It’s easy to maintain, with exchangeable back and seat covers, removable footrest and cushion assembly. And a high steel inner structure optimizes total cost of ownership. (inorca.com)

 

Irwin Seating Company

Irwin Seating Company, leader in seating solutions for the cinema industry, introduces new features for their ever-evolving Spectrum Recliner Luxury Series. Spectrum is now available with new super-soft deep-cushioned back upholstery styles, a plush, handsomely tailored comfy seat module, and an attractive chaise-lounge footrest with operational advances that are a must-see! Additional options include a center flip-up armrest, customizable tables, dual motors to operate the back and seat independently, remote operation to open/close all chairs at once, and rechargeable battery backup. For additional information regarding Spectrum’s phenomenal comfort, aesthetics and durability/serviceability, call (866) 464-7946. (IrwinSeating.com)

 

VIP Seating

VIP has always listened closely to exhibitor needs, and the result is here: NexGen, the luxury theatre seat that thinks for you. Performance on demand, for every demand: Patented Luxefoam technology insures luxurious, lasting comfort; compact design easily accommodates flat or sloped floors. No other seating offers this level of comfort, durability or ease of care, because no other company offers our level of experience or our attention to both essentials and extras for luxury theatre seating. NexGen component replacement is even simpler, saving time, expense and hassles with swap-and-go ease. Evolved technology that keeps you cruising in the driver’s seat with higher profitability and worry-free maintenance. (VIPCinemaSeating.com)

What steps should exhibitors take to maintain a long life for their recliners?

VIP Cinema Seating believes quality hand-crafted American-made products maintain a long life. The most assured way for exhibitors to expect a recliner to have a long life is to install quality products and partner with a solutions-based company that offers Best in Class American service.

What do exhibitors need to know about the electrical systems in reclining chairs?

VIP has listened for years and dealt with these issues and the associated costs with electrical systems for theatre recliners. Being a solutions-based company, we have developed a revolutionary design, the VIP10 Power Supply. It is very economical for the exhibitor from construction, engineering and electrical usage—up to 80 seats can be powered by a single 20A circuit.

Under proper care, what is the expected life of your reclining chair?

It is more likely to replace VIP Cinema Seating seats due to a styling change than due to product failure.

What kind of warranty do you offer, and what is the average cost of repairs?

VIP offers an honorable warranty with every product. Due to the quality craftsmanship put into our products, repairs are minimal. Through our technological advances and design, many of our components are modular and can be handled in-house by exhibitor personnel.

—Carolyn Perkins, Director of Marketing

 

Recliner Accessory: Caddy Products

You asked…they delivered! New Caddy concession tables are the ideal complement to the industry’s luxury theatre seats, not to mention cost-effective! With candy and cellphone holders built in, this effective "portable" swivel table is the perfect solution for your luxury/recliner seating. The tables are available in five riser heights, with custom inserts, and in any color. (CaddyProducts.com)