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More Imax theaters to be added to Regal's circuit

October 1, 2010 | 12:18 pm

Big-screen technology company Imax Corp. has unveiled a major expansion of its joint venture agreement with Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest theater chain.

The companies said the new agreement would bring another 16 to 25 Imax theaters to Regal's circuit, which currently has 34 joint venture theaters with Imax.

The companies intend to open the new theaters by the end of 2012 in such U.S. cities as Albuquerque, Atlanta and Eugene, Ore. Under such joint venture deals, exhibitors cover the costs of configuring their theaters, but Imax supplies the sound and projection equipment and receives a slice of the concession and box-office revenue.

The expansion is just the latest for Mississauga, Ontario-based Imax, which has been rolling out new theaters around the world in response to the growing demand for 3-D screens and high-quality digital cinema. This year alone, Imax has signed agreements for 198 theaters. In all, the Canadian company has 447 theaters operating in 47 countries including China and Russia.

"Imax theaters deliver an immersive presentation of unparalleled sound and image quality and command a premium price from consumers,'' Regal Chief Executive Amy Miles said in a statement.

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond called the development "an important expansion of our relationship with our long-term partner Regal that builds on the success of our existing joint venture theaters."

-- Richard Verrier