Cinemas in Hong Kong reopened last week after six weeks of closures due to the pandemic. Social distancing is still being practised indoors, with cinema-goers sitting in alternative seats and strictly no eating or drinking allowed during screenings. With things having to potentially stay this way for some time, London-based design studio Layer’s “Sequel” premium cinema seat concept could be particularly useful. Not only does this option offer extra safety measures, but it would also significantly enhance the cinema experience.
The colour choice of the Sequel Seat is something that stands out instantly. Layer has specifically chosen pastel shades instead of the conventional dark hues – a homage to the dreamy colour palettes seen in Wes Anderson films. Most cinema seats are black or burgundy for a reason, as dark shades tend to be more forgiving when it comes to dirt and stains, but Layer handles this issue with technology. The 3D-knitted fabric upholstery features a hydrophobic surface that is seamlessly woven for easy cleaning, while copper threads have been incorporated for antibacterial purposes.
The headrest of the Sequel Seat features integrated speakers and also displays the names of cinema-goers in LED lights – a helpful marker to remind people to sit in alternative seats if necessary. Removable protective screens can also be placed between seats as an extra safety precaution. The Sequel Seat is modular and the area between two seats can be used for storing bags or other personal items. Built-in UV lighting even helps sterilise visitors’ belongings during screenings, while UV lighting at the back of the seat can be used for sterilising the seat behind. There’s even a temperature control on the armrest in addition to the seat reclining control, making the overall movie viewing experience more comfortable and personal.