How to Build Theater Seats

As home movie theaters have become increasingly popular, so has movie-theater-like stadium seating, where elevated rows of seats provide unobstructed viewing for everyone in the audience. This can be done for several seats or even just one or two. Many companies offer theater-style seats, and you can make your own risers to hold them. Here's how to build a riser for three seats or a long sofa.

A home theater
  1. Measure the height of the theater room ceiling. The riser will be 1-foot high, so calculate to make sure your tallest family members and guests could fit comfortably into seats placed on top. If the ceiling is lower than 8 feet, a riser will not work.

  2. Nail one 69-inch stud to the end of a 96-inch stud. Nail a second 69-inch stud to the other end of the 96-inch stud. Nail a 96-inch stud to the bottoms of the two 69-inch studs, forming a box. Slot the remaining 69-inch studs between the top and bottom of the box. Spread them out evenly and nail them to the top and bottom 96-inch studs. The structure will look like the image shown here.

  3. Repeat the process with the remaining 96-inch studs and the nine 60-inch studs, again making a box and nailing the supports inside. Place this shorter structure on top of the larger one and line up the 96-inch studs at the back. Using the drill, screw together the two structures. You now have a riser with a step.

  4. Attach the large sheet of plywood to the top of the riser, nailing it into the edges and the inner supports of the frame. Fasten the smaller piece of plywood to the step of the riser. Again, nail into the frame edges and the inner supports.

  5. A home theater with multiple risers
  6. Lay the large piece of carpet out over the riser. It will cover from the back of the riser, across it, down the step and to the floor. Then attach the carpet to the riser using carpet tacks or nails. Cut the second piece of carpet to fit the riser sides and fasten with carpet tacks or nails. Position the riser in your home theater and place the seats or sofa on it.