The Confederation Centre of the Arts says its plan to give away 920 orchestra-level theatre seats was a success.

The centre announced last week that as part of its Homburg Theatre renovations, it was replacing the red seats and giving them away.

A number of smaller Island theatres, centre members and local businesses picked up dozens of seats Monday.

And on Tuesday morning, the general public lined up as early as 6 a.m. to pick up the free chairs on a first-come-first-serve basis.

There were so many people eager for one of the 50-year-old seats, the centre had to turn some away.

Carol Horne custom

Demand has been high for the theatre seats, says Confederation Centre chief marketing officer Carol Horne.

By 8:30 a.m., they were gone, said Carol Horne, chief marketing officer.

"We had a crowd arrive as early as six-something, we hear, and by 7:30 I was here and we had a lineup and we had people taking numbers and trucks, and all kinds of seats heading out the door," said Horne.

The seats carry a lot of nostalgia for many people, said Horne.

"We've had people asking for three or six for their own family theatre or their back porch, or someone has proposed to their wife within this theatre, which is a really romantic thought, to get those seats back and have them in their home somewhere," said Horne.

"Like many people around here, I've been going to the centre my whole life. So I've probably sat in most of these seats, and I thought it'd be cool to have a few in the basement," said Horne.

Peter Bevan-Baker, who runs a small performance café, took more than 100 of the seats

"People come in and sit on the pews at the moment for concerts or lectures, and they can be a little hard on the bum after a while. So we thought these would be perfect," said Bevan-Baker.

New seats will be installed for the beginning of the 2014 theatre season, said Horne.

Confederation Centre seat removal

Individuals, community theatres and businesses picked up Confederation Centre seats on Monday. (CBC)