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Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience

Once upon a time, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the Vitascope opened its doors to the general public for the first time. The year was 1896 and no other theater in the U.S. had ever been designed with the sole purpose of displaying motion pictures. Since then, movie theaters have evolved tremendously with the incorporation of concession snacks, plush seating, sound-shaking technology, and even 3D visuals. Today, as you sit in the comfort of a reclining leather chair with popcorn and an Icee in hand, do you ever ask yourself why theaters are red? Or perhaps, as your chair trembles with the apparition of a dinosaur on the IMAX screen, do you wonder how this immersive action is happening? Here’s a little insight into the evolution of the movie theater experience – as well as a couple of tips on how to bring the magic home:

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience


1896- Edison’s Vitascope Theater makes history with its 72 seat design dedicated to the showing of motion pictures.

1905- Harry Davis and John Davis open “The Nickelodeon” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. $.05 Nickelodeon movies rise in popularity and spread across the country.

1922- The first 3D movie, Harry K. Fairall’s “The Power of Love,” is shown at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles.

1925- Popcorn is introduced into cinemas when Charles Manley, an inventor based in Montana, develops the first electric popcorn machine. He specifically targets movie theater owners when marketing his product, thus creating the most iconic theater snack of all time.

1935- With the 1930s comes the introduction of candy into concession stands. As these snacks increase with popularity, the concession stand becomes a more and more prominent addition to the architecture of each theater.

1967- The first IMAX 3D theater opens in Vancouver at Expo ‘86.

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience


  1. Movie theaters are traditionally red because human eyes are less sensitive to the color red which makes the room appear darker. This, in turn, provides good contrast with the screen, optimizing the viewer experience. The color red is also used in cinemas for its psychological effects. Red is believed to be a stimulating color that can cause people to feel more emotion. This enhances the connection between the audience and the onscreen actors.

  2. Movie theater seats can shake and tremble through the work of transmitters and transducers! A wireless audio signal tells your seat exactly when to vibrate along with the movie’s soundtrack. Seatcraft’s SoundShaker Amp Kit is a great way to upgrade your home theater into a wild adventure.

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience


While going to the movies can be fun, sometimes staying in and watching a movie at home is even better. Bring the movie experience home by customizing the perfect home theater for you!

Start by selecting your ideal seating. Looking for a classical red that will have you reminiscing over $.05 Nickelodeon movies? Try the Seacraft Regis! The deep red and gold combination will transform your home into the most glamorous Hollywood theater.

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience

If you prefer something more modern, look no further than the Seatcraft Eros. Made with a plush headrest and manual recline this seating looks like it’s straight out of your local cinema– and in some cases, it is!

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience

There are even seats designed specifically for you and a loved one! Check out the Seatcraft Cuddle Seat for a unique set up catered to your taste! These seats can fit up to two adults or three kids at a time.  

Evolution of the Movie Theater Experience

Then, personalize your home theater with fun gadgets like a tablet holder or wine glass caddy from! If you have a sweet tooth, look into purchasing a cotton candy or ice cream maker for your own in-house concessions stand! Or, make delicious homemade popcorn in a variety of flavors such as garlic parmesan or caramel apple.

Finally, queue up your favorite movies, kick back, relax, and let the credits roll!