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Prince Rupert residents may ‘Please Be Seated’ in Lester Centre project

Public is invited to ‘purchase’ a seat in a different kind of seat sale, theatre manager says
Please Be Seated is part of a project by the Prince Rupert Lester Centre of the Performing Arts which includes new seating for the theatre. The public can purchase seats and have their contributions acknowledged on signage in the lower bowl. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

“Please be Seated” is a new project where theatre and live show aficionados will have the opportunity to “purchase” seats at the Lester Centre of the Performing Arts, with named acknowledgement on a sign in the lower bowl.

It’s a different kind of seat sale, Chris Armstrong, general manager of the facilities, said on Feb. 2.

“The existing seats are 35 years old, which is around the time you’d want to replace them. We’ve started a project to acquire and install new seats, which we thought the community would like to take part in it.”

Each new “seat” will cost $800, which will be considered a tax-deductible donation to the Lester Centre. In return, buyers will get their name or their organization on a sign that will be installed in the entryway to the seats in the lower bowl.

“Everyone will see that sign. Your name and your generosity will be displayed for many years to come,” Armstrong said.

Currently, the theatre has a 702-seat capacity with 694 seats plus eight accessible spots. The plan is to retain at least the current number of seats and the theatre is investigating accessibility options.

The seat sale, which is part of the “Please Be Seated” project, starts now and will run until March 31.

Buyers of the seats will have the added bonus of taking away the vintage velvet orange seating as a souvenir.

“Whether you want a nice addition to your in-home movie theatre or whether you think they would be a nice addition to your front deck on sunny summer days, the seats have a variety of uses. On top of that, they’re comfortable, they’ve got armrests, and they flip up and down,” the theatre manager said.

The total cost of the project is still being worked out and grants are being applied for to assist with the new comfortable cushioning auditorium chairs.

Anyone interested in buying a seat should contact Chris Armstrong at 250-627-8888 or email