Ever heard of movie houses offering bean bag chairs as seating appurtenances? They are actually offering a feel-at-home ambiance when viewing a movie at the cinema.

Alternative Viewing Experience by Way of Bean Bag Cinemas

The Root of Theaters with Bean Bag Seats

Generically known as bean bag cinemas, these type of movie houses initially gained popularity during the late 60s. Presumably, it gained a foothold in the cinema industry after three (3) Italian furniture designers conceptualized an innovative furniture that made use of a newly developed material called polystyrene bead.

Drawing inspiration from the sacks of polystyrene beads on which their factory workers lounged during break time, the designers came up with a chair devoid of shape and form. The formless chair called Sacco gained popularity; enough to be taken seriously by movie house operators as alternative type of seating.

However, the advent of television sets during the same period put a dent in the movie industry. A number of movie houses closed shop, including those that provided Sacco-like chairs as seats. The alternative cinema seating, did not revitalize the movie theaters, as many found the seats uncomfortable. Some even complained about the seat’s crunching noises every time they shifted position.

60s Bean Bag Movie Houses Went, but Bean Bag Chair and Filler Businesses Flourished

.The Sacco chair concept was so simple, which made it easy for other product innovators to copy and use the idea. Polystyrene-filled bags as chairs are easy to reproduce, using textiles more affordable than those first introduced as elite Sacco chairs. In later years, a new wave of affordable shapeless, structure-less furniture, subsequently invaded the market under a new name: bean bag chairs.

Bean bag chairs gained popularity. So much so that it boosted the related business of manufacturing bean bag chair fillers. After all, like any kind of furniture, they are likely to wear out through frequent use; eventually giving rise to the need for replacing old fillers with new. Since the wear and tear factor determines the frequency by which a bag of polystyrene beads are purchased, polystyrene fillers now come in 3 generic types: Virgin, Pure and Recycled.

The Virgin polystyrene balls are touted as the best bean bag chair filler if ranked in terms of durability. A contender to the best bean bag chair filler claim, is the type that makes use of shredded Memory Foam. Although the Recycled kind is the best seller for being economical, it is the least likely choice for cinema seating purposes.

60s Bean Bag Theaters Reborn as Bean Bag Cinemas

The introduction of more durable and non-noise producing fillers, paved the way for the revival of the concept of theaters outfitted with bean bag chairs. The Australian Hoyts Cinema is widely known to be the first to re-introduce the concept in 2007, when it opened its first Bean Bag Cinema in Auckland, New Zealand. To date, Australia and other countries like UK, Ireland, US (California and Texas), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia have bean bag cinemas to offer.