Kleinhans new seats a hit with music fans, James Fink, Business First

The verdict is in and music fans say the new seats at Kleinhans Music Hall are a welcome and long overdue addition.

For the first time since 1968, all of the seats inside the home to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra were replaced over the summer. The project was the centerpiece of a $4 million makeover of the 75-year-old entertainment venue.

The Sept. 16 opening night concert by the orchestra marked the public debut of the seats.

“For someone my size, I found them extremely comfortable,” said Thomas Beaufort, a six-foot, four-inch Buffalo banking executive. “Getting my frame into the seats was incredibly easy.”

The new seats are, on average, a few inches wider. Because of the wider, updated seats, capacity at Kleinhans dropped about 16 percent to 2,441 seats. Previously, Kleinhans had a 2,834 seating capacity.

The new seats and fresh carpeting do not impact the sound. If anything, it enhanced the orchestra’s music.

“All of the upgrades are very impressive,” said Buffalo resident Bradley Alt.

The work is not done.

A Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra archive room, along the second level foyer, is due to open next month as part of Kleinhans’ 75th anniversary celebration.

““These are world-class seats, worthy of our world-class orchestra and our world-class music hall,” said David Granville.