Theater chair automatically movable by remote control
United States Patent 3865430

A theater chair movable by remote control comprises a support strucutre, a chassis having a back and arms installed on same, and a seat rotatably engaged to the chassis. The support structure comprises at each side of the chassis, a vertical sliding mechanism and a horizontal sliding mechanism. The sliding mechanisms comprise rotatable threaded spindles and sleeves threadedly engaged thereon. The horizontal sliding mechanisms are attached by universal joints to the chassis of the chair and both vertical and horizontal sliding mechanisms are driven by independent drive motors, operated by remote control by sending a signal in synchronism with a scene of the show. The seat contains a vibrator for producing vibrational and rhythmic movements in the seat.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
A47C1/12; A61H1/00; A61H23/02; A63J5/00; (IPC1-7): A47C1/12; A63G31/16; A63J5/00
Field of Search:
272/8P,10,16,17,18 297
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US Patent References:
3628829EXPERIENCE THEATER1971-12-21Hellig
3542934SUBMARINE SIMULATOR1970-11-24Warhurst et al.
2861806Rocket ship amusement apparatus1958-11-25Disney
2257496Chair for motion picture theaters1941-09-30Gaugler et al.

Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Stouffer R. T.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ladas, Parry, Von Gehr, Goldsmith & Deschamps
I claim

1. A theater chair movable by remote control, comprising a supporting structure, a chassis with a backrest and two armrests integral therewith and installed on the supporting structure, a seat connected to the chassis so as to be rotatable with respect thereto, and vibrational means within said seat, the supporting structure comprising, at each side of the chassis:

2. A theater chair according to claim 1, wherein each of said universal joints comprises a ball attached to said chassis and a socket provided with a stem which is fitted in a hub secured to one of said second plates.

3. A theater chair according to claim 1, wherein said seat is rotatable about a horizontal axis from a sitting position to a substantially erect position and the chair comprises a spiral spring having one end secured to said seat and its other end secured to said chassis so as to bias the seat towards its erect position, and means arranged to be actuated when the seat is in its erect position to maintain said drive motors each in a de-energized condition.

4. A theater chair according to claim 1, in combination with a control desk at which an operator can produce a train of logic signals for actuating the drive motors.

5. A theater chair according to claim 1, wherein said first drive motor has a drive shaft projecting at its two opposite ends from the drive motor and said first gearing comprises a pair of worm gears carried by the drive shaft at the two opposite ends thereof respectively, a first additional pair of gears meshing respectively with the pair of worm gears and secured to respective rotatable shafts, a second additional of or gears mounted on said rotatable shafts respectively for rotation with the first additional pair of gears, and a third additional pair of gears meshing respectively with the second additional pair of gears and secured respectively to the first pair of threaded spindles, and wherein said second drive motor has a drive shaft projecting at one end from the drive motor and said second gearing comprises a worm gear carried by the drive shaft of said second drive motor, a first additional gear meshing with that worm gear and secured to a rotatable shaft, a second additional gear mounted on the rotatable shaft with said first additional gear for rotation therewith, and a pair of gears meshing with the second additional gear and secured respectively to the second pair of threaded spindles.


This invention refers, in general, to theater chairs or seats and it relates particularly to a chair movable by remote control by movements ordered from a panelboard, actuated by an operator, or else, by signals recorded on a carrier such as a film, and detected by a pick-up means that through a circuit, operates hydraulic, pneumatic, electromechanical or any other type of system, in order to produce horizontal and vertical shifting of the chair, as well as a combination of such movements, including vibrational or rhythmic movements.

Heretofore, during a show, the viewer has been able to enjoy a scene accompanied by sound, something which provides to a certain extent participation in the show. However, the viewer always occupies a static chair that, to a certain degree, isolates him from the stage, thus preventing the effects conveyed audibly and visually from providing a sufficient impact to make the viewer participate more effectively in the scene, thereby the director and the actors of the show are not able to properly convey to the viewer the desired impression. If to all effects added to the shows, simple movements are additionally provided to the theater chair or seat occupied by the viewer during suitable and decisive times, the impression attained in the sensibility of the viewer would increase to a substantial degree.


In view of the above, it is an object of this invention to provide a theater chair of any type, especially for moving pictures and theater, automatically movable by remote control from a panelboard actuated by an operator, or else by means of signals recorded on a carrier such as a film and detected by a pick-up means that sends them through a suitable circuit, to electric motors, hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders which, through hydraulic, pneumatic or electromechanic systems provide to the chair, vertical or horizontal movements or combinations of same, including vibrational and rhythmical movements. Said movements are provided at the exact time of the plot corresponding to the show, producing the effect that the viewer becomes involved in the show, in a manner heretofore unknown, providing to him more vivid sensations at certain particular movements of the scene, such as riding a horse, riding in a car, flying in an aircraft, sailing on a boat, falling from a precipice, going up in an elevator, skiing on snow, etc.; being these moments accompanied by the movements of the chair up and down, back and forth, swinging to the right, swinging to the left, vibrations, rhythmic movements and so forth.

In an embodiment of this invention applicable to moving pictures, in the movie film already existing or in another special movie, signals shall be recorded by means of a magnetic system at one side of the moving picture, that can be read or detected by a pick-up magnetic head attached to the sound head or the like, this head on detecting the recorded signals, shall transfer same to an amplifier that sends signals of different impulses, choosing several solenoids or contactors that operate hydraulic, pneumatic or electromechanic systems to move either mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically, the slides attached to the chair thus promoting the movements above mentioned.

These and other objects obtained with the practice of this invention, will be better understood and appreciated from reading the following description related to the attached drawing of the preferred embodiments of the invention.


FIG. 1, is a side vertical elevation view of the theater chair movable by remote control, subject of this invention, in an embodiment hydraulically and pneumatically operated.

FIG. 2, is a view similar to FIG. 1, in an embodiment electromechanically operated.

FIG. 3, is a front vertical elevation view of the chair movable by remote control, subject of the present invention, with its seat cut away.

FIG. 4, is a detailed view with conventional sections illustrating one of the side frame of the support structure of the chair, subject of this invention, in the embodiment hydraulically or pneumatically operated.

FIG. 5, is a cross sectional view on line 5 -- 5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6, is a view similar to FIG. 4 corresponding to the embodiment electromechanically operated.

FIG. 7, is a cross-sectional view on line 7 -- 7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8, is a semi-schematic view illustrating the assembly of theater chairs and the remote control by means of which same are operated, illustrating by double lines the hydraulic or pneumatic system and by dotted lines, the electrical system.


Reference is made to FIGS. 1, 3, 4 and 5 in which the hydraulic or pneumatic system for operating the theater chair is shown. The theater chair 11, is comprised of a chassis 12, including firmly joined by welding or any other means, a pair of balls 13, coupled to sockets 14, producing a universal joint allowing the chair any kind of movement, including these sockets 14, of the universal joints, stems 15, firmly coupled to a plate 16, by means of hubs or receptacles 17 included therein. Said plate 16 is, in turn, firmly attached to a sliding plate 18, including at its top and bottom a plurality of wheels 19, that are slidingly engaged on horizontal rails 20, fixed to a frame 21, to which the hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders 22 are firmly attached, with a common shaft 23, being firmly attached to a central portion 24, of the sliding plate 18. These hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders 22, are synchronously operated by means of hydraulic or pneumatic lines 25 connected to the hydraulic or pneumatic receptacle of the solenoid valves 26. By the aforementioned movements of the sliding plate 18, the horizontal shifting of the seat of the theater chair is carried out; on the other hand, the frame 21, is also a sliding member that is vertically shifted by means of wheels 27, resting on rails 28, attached to the side portions 29 of a main framework 30, making up the sides of the support structure of the chair subject of the present invention, illustrated in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5. This sliding frame 21 that is vertically shifted and that produces the vertical movements of the chair is directly operated by a main hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder 31, bearing on the lower side 32 of the support structure 30, that constitute the sides of the chair on which the arms 54, attached to chassis 12, rest. The hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder 31, drives through a bifurcated stem 33, the sliding frame 21, to which it is firmly attached at its lower portion 34. The hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder 31, is engaged by a hydraulic or pneumatic line 35, to the hydraulic or pneumatic receptacle of the solenoid valves 26 and to the hydraulic or pneumatic control main lines 37, illustrated in FIG. 8, and connected, in turn, directly to the pumps 38, that can be directly operated by line 39 from desk 40, actuated by an operator or else through line 41, and automatic connecting means 42, such as relays, contactors and solenoids, connected to the amplifying means 43; and to detect by means of a pick-up head 44, the pulses of signals recorded in a film 45 that is projected by means 46. The pick-up head 44 may be similar to a sound pick-up head 47, the signal of which is amplified by means 48 and is reproduced through a line 49 in a loudspeaker 50.

Depending on the signals recorded on the film 45 or commanded by the operator of desk 40, the hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders 31 and 22 shall produce combinations of adequate movements in synchronism with the scene played. This operating system was described in reference to a hydraulic or pneumatic system but it may also be applicable to any other similar system.

For the purpose that only the chair that is being used be operated by the system, a spiral spring 51 is included, same being engaged at one end to chassis 12 and at the other to an axis 52 by means of which the seat 53 is rotatably engaged to chassis 12, thereby biasing the seat 53 to an erect position when same is unoccupied, operating a switch that leaves this chair out of the system.

Besides, the chair includes a connector 55, placed inside the structure 30, to which is coupled, by means of a cable for operating same, a motor with a vibrator 56 and a motor 57 with an eccentric flywheel 58, installed in the housing 59, inside the seat 53, in order to provide in same vibrational and rhythmical movements.

As an example and not by way of limitation on the possibilities of carrying out this invention, FIGS. 2, 3, 6 and 7 illustrate an electromechanical system for operating the chair movable by remote control of the present invention.

The electromechanical system of this embodiment comprises a horizontal sliding plate 60, including in its integral side ends two threaded spindles 61, that are shifted along two threaded stems 62, supported by bearings 63 that are attached to the structure or support plate 64, including these threaded stems at its ends, gears 65 meshing with an idler gear 66 that is engaged by its shaft 67, to another gear 68 engaged, in turn, to a worm 69 engaged in the shaft of a drive motor 70, that is fixed to the support structure 64, so that, on driving motor 70 from the remote control, a horizontal shifting of the sliding plate 60 is produced, this latter being attached to plate 16, and including hubs 17, that support the stems 15, of the universal joint that includes the ball sockets 14 and the balls 13 being attached to chassis 12, thereby producing the shifting of the chair in a horizontal sense, and the support plate 64 includes at its side ends, threaded spindles or sleeves 71, that are vertically shifted in threaded stems 72, supported by means of suitable bearings 73 to the rigid frame 30, making up the sides of the chair on which the arms 54 attached to chassis 12 can rest. Said threaded stems 72, include at their ends, gears 74 meshing with gears 75, that include engaged in its shaft 76, other gears 77 driven by worms 78 mounted on a double shaft 79 of a second drive motor 80 that is supported on the bottom side 32 of frame 30.

These drive motors 80 and 70, during the vertical and horizontal movements of the chair, can be energized in a logic sequence in order to obtain several types of movements and the energization can be carried out in a similar manner to that described in the previous embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8; this is, a signal impressed on film 45, that is detected by a pick-up head 44, or else directly from the desk 40, actuated by an operator, sending back electric pulses through a line as indicated in dotted lines 81 and that may include a connecting box 82.

Notwithstanding that the above description has been made in relation to specific embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood by those skilled in the art that any amendments in the form or detail are to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of the present invention.