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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Theatre Safety by Spursfan2 on 27 October 2014 1:27pm
Last week we went to see Jim Davidson in our local theatre (he was brilliant and we met him in the interval), but we feel that the seating layout is unsafe, or at least part of it is.

On the far right-hand side of the cinema, there is no aisle and the row ends (or begins!) at the wall. There are seats 1-8, then an aisle, then some more seats etc.

Zak and I feel that this situation is unacceptable, and that in a fire it could prove catastrophic.

We were seated in the second row, seats 1 and 2 and it took us several minutes to get out at the interval and at the end of the performance, simply because we were waiting for the others in the row to shuffle forwards down the row.

I have emailed the cinema, but have been unable to get my point across - they merely say that the Fire Office and Health and Safety Officer have both approved it. Why!! Zak did a Fire Wardens course among other H & S courses he did for his job and he was horrified at the set up; he might not have the same qualifications as the Fire Officer but he can still see danger, it is only common sense.

I have suggested they take out a column of seats, or preferably two, to allow room for an aisle on the right. All they do is to offer a meeting which I don't particularly want. I realise that they are trying to cram in as many seats as they can.

I know that it is difficult to comment on anything you have not seen, but I would value your feedback on this.
Re: Theatre Safety by Lounge Trekker on 27 October 2014 8:29pm
a building code in one of the provinces says

"aisles shall be located so that there are not more than 7 seats with backs or 20 seats without backs between any seat and the nearest aisle"

Too many details to battle through. I thought the number was 10, based on the few theatres I've been in. The code has been updated more recently than the buildings so compliance would depend on inspection or recent loss of life.
Re: Theatre Safety by suzulu on 27 October 2014 11:14pm
I agree it is not acceptable. I have sat in seats by the wall in cinemas in London (one of the NFT cinemas is one) and not felt comfortable. So you have a right to complain.

I am glad you enjoyed Jim Davidson though.
Re: Theatre Safety by Lounge Trekker on 28 October 2014 6:14am
A few years ago we went to a fabulous musical and got the best seats in the house. As my date was in a wheelchair, we were at lobby level, right beside the aisle. However, the usher remove her chair saying it was an obstruction in event of fire. I was quite indignant but kept my suave and sophisticated behaviour telling the usher, "You have that chair here the INSTANT there is need to evacuate, or she'll be in my arms and we'll be hurting people as we crash outta here!"...with a smile, of course.

Thankfully there was no fire and at the climax of the show, there was a swing dance number being played and I only had to look at the usher, he had the chair before us, and we were the first on the dance floor. Others came and joined us and it was a blast!
Re: Theatre Safety by Spursfan2 on 28 October 2014 10:39am
Thank you Sue and Pete. there are only 8 seats in a row, but even so.

Another annoying thing is that they have a policy of not letting you book (online) 2 seats if it will leave one on its own (if that makes sense!). I can understand that they want to book all their seats, but it is so annoying.

For Jim Davidson, for example, I was booking seats for us on behalf of our son who was going to give Zak his ticket for his birthday - I said I would pay for my own but Si gave me mine for my birthday too (he'd already given us Dame Edna tickets as part of our xmas gifts - theatre gifts are a great present for us). There were 3 still available on the front row but I was unable to book them!! We therefore had to make do with the second row - still good but not as good as the front. Simon had already booked his, on the front row (I suggested he got his Dad the ticket, by which time Simon was on holiday which is why I ended up booking them - he had already booked his own tickets).

When we went to the show, we noticed one of our son's ex-girlfriends on the front row - as it happens right next to Simon and his wife which could have been awkward but they ignored each other and luckily Jim was taking the mickey out of both Simon and his wife and Fiona so it distracted them!!

Anyway, in the interval I went to the loo (after meeting the great man!) and saw Fiona so I said hello, turned out she only knew about Jim being in our town because she had seen my FB status that day!

My point is, that she had been given the two seats, I reckon, that I was trying to book, as there was a free place next to the two of them!!

If I had known there was still a couple of seats going on the front row I would have telephoned the theatre and asked to change seats! [Or perhaps not, with Jim around!!].

Next time I will check the seating plan the day we go!


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