This Is Why The Seats And Curtains In Theatres Are Red

You’ve seen them hundreds of times, but have you ever wondered why the seats and curtains in theatres are always red? Well, today, we look at just that.

It is believed that there are two main reasons for the red color: our obsession for Italian operas and the fact that red is the first color we lose in dark light conditions.

Here’s how it goes. (the article continues after the ad)

For centuries, Italy has been the center of opera performances. Being so, as operas started to expand into the rest of the Europe, the opera houses were designed to look like the Italian operas which were, primarily, red and gold:

Photo: Creative Commons

Of course, they were opera houses that weren’t always red and gold. For example in France, the main colour palette used was gold and blue:

Photo: Creative Commons

At the end though, because opera was associated with Italy, the red and gold colours caught on throughout Europe and the majority of the opera houses were using this colour palette. Later on, when theatres and cinemas started to replace opera houses as a main form of entertainment, this trend remained.

But, as it turns out, there is another reason why the red trend prevailed up until today and it has to do with science: red is the first colour that we lose in low-light conditions. With a wavelength of 650 nm, once the house lights go down, the red colour will be the first to disappear from our sight:

By having red coloured curtains and seats, as soon as the lights are dimmed, the theatre becomes darker than having, for example, blue or green seats. 

If you like what you read, you will definitely love this one: Why Almost Every Movie Ends With The “This Is A Work Of Fiction” Disclaimer?

Photos: pompi / Pixabay,
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie

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