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Author Topic: AMC's new luxury seats not aging well
William Kucharski
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 244
From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
Registered: Oct 2012


 - posted 07-02-2015 05:43 AM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My local AMC, Flatiron Crossing 14, was one of the first in the country to receive their new luxury seat prototypes - motorized recliners with leather seating surfaces and footrests.

Unfortunately, after only about two years, the leather has not aged well, exhibiting significant cracking and drying out.

(For some reason Film-Tech rotated the image, but the surface to the right is the cushion one sits on):

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David E. Nedrow
Master Film Handler

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From: Columbus, OH, USA
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 - posted 07-02-2015 03:32 PM      Profile for David E. Nedrow   Author's Homepage   Email David E. Nedrow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, leather may look and feel nice, but it has to be cleaned and oiled on a regular basis. You can't just let it sit there.

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 07-02-2015 03:32 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well that's no surprise, considering the amount of butt traffic these seats probably get. People are rough on things. Even expensive "fine furniture" would never stand up to daily commercial use.

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Leo Enticknap
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 - posted 07-02-2015 03:46 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Real leather looks and feels very nice (hence its widespread use in clothing and furniture), but it isn't tough or durable. A couple of years ago I was chatting to a Delta flight attendant I ended up sitting next to on a trip, who told me that they were replacing their trademark leather seat upholstery with plastic imitation material, because the real leather ones wore out so quickly that they were costing the airline a fortune (plus, he charmingly pointed out, it's much easier to clean vomit from fake leather).

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Dave Macaulay
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 - posted 07-02-2015 04:28 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are many grades of leather. Full grain hides are the thickest and longest lasting - I've seen club chairs that are used hours a day, a hundred years old, in good shape - but that stuff is very expensive and difficult to work with. Most modern upholstery leather is split or shaved hide - several sheets cut from one skin. That looks pretty close but doesn't wear as well. Then there's "pressed leather" that's made b chooping up leather scraps and sticking them together into a sheet with a leathery texture on one side, then gluing that to a fabric backing. Looks pretty leather-like but wears through quickly. Advantage - way, way cheaper than real leather.
That seat looks like pressed leather, since you can see what looks like the fabric backing in the cracks. Plus I have a pressed leather couch that looks just like that.
I don't get why leather is so expensive. It's essentially a waste product from slaughtering cattle - and man we slaughter a lot of cattle in North America - soaked in chemicals for a while to cure the raw skin into leather. The stuff should be almost free.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 07-02-2015 04:53 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe it's time to start talking to the automotive industry. So many cinema seats are of deplorable quality, especially over here, but they're no less expensive. The guys in automotive sure know how to construct things that last for a while at reasonable costs...

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William Kucharski
Expert Film Handler

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From: Louisville, Colorado, United States of America
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 - posted 07-02-2015 10:01 PM      Profile for William Kucharski   Email William Kucharski   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've seen a lot of car seats that look worse, but they're also subject to very high temperatures and UV, which theatre seats are not.

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Jonathan Goeldner
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 - posted 07-02-2015 11:42 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
here in the DC area - the seating in the Club Cinema at Mazza Gallerie is not fairing to well as well.

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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 07-03-2015 11:03 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the background info, Dave.

quote: Dave Macaulay
I don't get why leather is so expensive. It's essentially a waste product from slaughtering cattle - and man we slaughter a lot of cattle in North America - soaked in chemicals for a while to cure the raw skin into leather. The stuff should be almost free.
I'd guess that raw, totally untreated and unprocessed leather is almost free, and that the reason the final product is so expensive is the cost of what has to be done to it between coming off the cow and our butts sinking in to it. It's the same syndrome whereby barley and spring water are almost free, but a bottle of single malt certainly ain't (though admittedly most of the differential is tax, so that probably isn't the right analogy).

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 07-03-2015 04:26 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You could make the same argument for just about any product, such as popcorn...the ingredients are super cheap, but the labor, equipment and manpower to turn it into a tasty product all add to the cost.

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Randy Stankey
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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 07-03-2015 04:48 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tanning leather for upholstery likely uses chromic acid and/or other similar kinds of methyl-ethyl-badshit. Tanning for clothing uses different chemicals but, none the less, there are environmental concerns.

A lot of the expense of leather and fur goods comes from the cost associated with cleanup and recycling of chemicals.

Secondarily, leather and fur goods requires a lot of hand work by skilled people.
This kind of labor doesn't come cheap.

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James Westbrook
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From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
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 - posted 07-03-2015 11:09 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if some uninformed employee or custodian used Armorall on it...

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 07-04-2015 09:16 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: William Kucharski
I've seen a lot of car seats that look worse, but they're also subject to very high temperatures and UV, which theatre seats are not.
Well, sure, there are also a lot of crappy car seats out there. [Wink]

Still, the industry also knows how to produce stuff that's both comfy and can withstand years of non-stop abuse.

I'm also not so sure if I would go for leather, the stuff that's still somewhat affordable usually is of the sub-par type and will wear and tear within a year (Let's call that the poetic truth [Wink] ).

I'm not the leather specialist, but isn't the kind of leather that lasts for a lifetime also the kind of leather that's hard like a rock? There must be synthetic alternatives that work better.

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Lyle Romer
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 - posted 07-04-2015 09:23 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
I'm not the leather specialist, but isn't the kind of leather that lasts for a lifetime also the kind of leather that's hard like a rock?
I think you are right. My wife's 6.5 year old ford escape with 120,000 miles on it has leather seats. They barely show any sign of wear but they are a very stiff leather. I certainly wouldn't want a sofa made out of it!

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

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From: Bloomington, IN, USA
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 - posted 07-07-2015 11:42 AM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you seen the average American butt lately? These seats need to be rated for HEAVY duty! [Eek!]

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