New Theater Seating Players Pick Up Where Berkline Left Off

The largest theater seating manufacturer Berkline Corporation shut it’s doors last May 2011.  In it’s wake it left a huge void in the theater seating business.  Berkline commanded well over 50% share of the market.  Berkline left customers and dealers holding the bag so to speak.  Many orders were canceled and customers could not get good warranty service.  We at were able to move many of our orders to Palliser in the short term to satisfy customers.

These problems have mostly been alleviated as many new manufacturers have come on board with new product introductions and some old manufacturers stepped in with new product releases and innovative products.  The best time to be in the market for theater seating is right now as there are a huge variety of products on the market at various price points.  I will review what new lines have been introduced and new features you’ll see in many of these products.

The theater seating business is divided into two distinct categories.  One category is called the quick ship theater seating and the other the special order theater seating

Quick Ship Theater Seating is pretty much what it says.  Theater seating that is stocked by dealers and manufacturers in warehouses across the USA for immediate shipment.  Most often it is stocked in black leather or brown leather with some exceptions.  Most stocking dealers have choices like power recline and manual seating. stocks the Palliser, Barcalounger, Coaster, Lane, and Row One under it’s quick ship seating section. In this area price points range from $499 per seat up to $799 per seat depending on the options chosen and the cover on the product.  We offer a very large selection of styles and seats and it’s getting bigger everyday out of our warehouses. Quick ship seating may be fast but it does have a limited selection.

Seen below is the Palliser Antica Theater Seating which is stocked by It can also be ordered custom with lighted cups and base in different colors.

Custom or Special Order Seating allows a customer to pick and choose leathers, styles and configurations.  This allows customers to get exactly what they want but they would need to wait for the order to be custom made in about 4 to 8 weeks depending on the manufacturer.  Many of the same manufacturers that make stock product offer custom order product.  Sometimes it’s the same products but more often than not it’s different products.  For instance Palliser offers about 5 products in the stock program but over 20 products in it’s special order program.  The main players in the custom order theater seating are Palliser Furniture, Row One, and Lane Furniture.

We offer home theater seating swatches on our web site to view and to order to help with selection of covers. Lane furniture offers many of it’s special orders styles as quick ships that are made in USA. 

Seen below is the Palliser Slade and Sensation Theater seats showing a set of 3 curved row in microfiber, lighted cups, base and power recline this is a special order style.

Features to look for in theater seating are the following.  Many of decision points for theater seats are dictated by room size and the most important measurement is width to determine what size row a theater will accommodate.  If your short on width then you will most likely end up choosing a straight row versus a curved row.  A curved row allows the end seats to point towards the viewing screen.  Your width measurement will dictate whether you go with straight or curved. 

One of the features we recommend at HTmarket is the power recline feature on home theater seats.  This allows for maximum comfort as you can place recline mechanism in any position you feel like.  The manual function on most recline is limited to a few placements.  So we recommend that you choose power recline however be sure to include outlets that are needed to handle the power on the seat.  If you order “power recline” each chair will come with a plug. 

More and more seats feature arm storage and some come with adaptable snack trays that can fit on the arm or store in the arm when not in use.  Many of the new product introductions have these features.  Palliser Seating and Row One theater seating will now offer as an option storage and trays in all there products this year for an extra charge. 

The other feature you see more often is lighted cupholders which was first developed by Berkline.  This feature is now become popular.  In Palliser and Row One seats you can order lighted cupholders and base rails as an option it’s usually about $100 per seat.  The other strong feature is the ability to add buttkickers in all seats.  This is a fun feature for those who want to feel the movie.

We mention just a few of the manufacturers here in this post.  We have heard of other companies coming in to offer new seating styles.  It looks to be a very exciting year in theater seating and at HTmarket we have been selling and delivering theater seats for over 11 years now.  We know home cinema seating.  

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