soft-seater n. an upscale theater-like performing space with a capacity larger than a nightclub and smaller than an arena; (hence) especially attributively, entertainment or a performing space seen as appropriate for a restrained or sophisticated audience. Also soft-seat place, soft-seat venue. Editorial Note: This terms appears to be especially common in Canada. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. tcassedy says:

    This seems to have been going around as “soft-seat” in Toronto for at least a couple of years before it’s attested as “soft-seater.” It’s weird that these all come from Toronto:

    1987 Craig McInnis _Toronto Star_ (Oct. 16) “Fleetwood’s Mac is back from booze bout”: “I’m not so crazy about the ‘soft-seat’ places. But you can get people out of their soft seats.”

    1987 Greg Quill _Toronto Star_ (July 15) “Brewery chases high-profile acts for Massey Hall”: to help produce high-profile rock shows in Toronto’s premier “soft-seat” venue…. aggressive competition for “soft-seat” acts

  2. Ah! Thanks. Those are both good. My theory on why this term is popular in Canada is that they only ever had hard seats for the longest time because everyone was too polite to ask for something easier on the bum. So when soft-seat joints came along, they were worth remarking on. (kidding)

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