Why Movie Theater Seats and Curtains Are Red

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

We love nothing more than learning new things, especially when it comes to subjects that impact our design and lifestyle choices. Case in point: Have you ever wondered why movie theaters feature red curtains and seats? Why not blue, green, or even pink? Turns out, there's a specific and fascinating reason behind this color choice.


According to @designsecretsss, a concept designer and inventor on TikTok, "The color red is the first color that the human eye loses sight of in dark and low-light conditions." In other words, when the lights go down in a theater, your eyes are unable to see the color red right away. This makes it easier for you to focus on the movie or performance without distractions.

Video of the Day

According to CooperVision, pilots will even use the color red to prepare their eyes for night flying. "Wearing red-tinted glasses for 20-30 minutes before going into low light will help as well since rod cells don't pick up the color red," the company explains. Rod cells, like cone cells, help your eyes see light.


I'm A Useless Info Junkie reports that the red movie theater color choice was also inspired by Italian operas that utilized a red and gold color scheme. When theaters began to replace the operas, the design trend remained in place.

What other movie theater secrets are out there?

One of our favorite movie theater hacks involves ensuring that your popcorn is evenly buttered. After all, who wants popcorn that's only buttered on one side and plain on the other?


To make sure that the movie theater butter makes its way throughout the entire popcorn container, you can use a straw to disperse the product. If you're looking for a more eco-friendly solution, you can simply utilize a reusable straw instead. Just position the straw under the dispenser and let the butter coat all your popcorn from top to bottom.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...