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AMC Entertainment announced recently that they have expanded their original agreement with the IMAX Corporation to add up to 25 more installations of IMAX theaters.
The original agreement included 104 IMAX screens, and the press release mentions that 79 are in operation, with the remaining 25 expected to open before the end of the year. The companies intend to open 15-25 additional IMAX installations in 2011 in locations where they already have an IMAX screen as well as where they do not.
"We are pleased to expand our relationship with IMAX, a valued partner in offering our guests the best out-of-home entertainment experience," said Gerry Lopez, CEO and president, AMC. "Our guests clearly choose to see movies in our IMAX auditoriums because the experience is unparalleled in terms of sight and sound, and it continues to be the premium offering in our portfolio of moviegoing options. We are proud to continue being the largest exhibitor partner of IMAX, and we are committed to providing our guests with the best choices in moviegoing."
There's no mention about whether the new IMAX screens will be any bigger than the ones that have been built so far. Last May, comedian and actor Aziz Ansari complained in a very public manner about seeing Star Trek: The IMAX Experience at the AMC Burbank 16 & IMAX in Burbank, California and was very disappointed that the screen was not the huge size that he had come to expect when seeing the IMAX brand. That screen measured 63' wide by 37' high, which is a far cry from the typical 72' wide by 53' high dimensions of the traditional IMAX theaters that built the IMAX brand.
The publicity which resulted from this caused IMAX to do some damage control and some fans created web sites using such terms as "liemax" and "minimax" to describe the smaller IMAX screens.
We can only hope that AMC and IMAX is learning from their past mistakes and putting in some screens worthy of whatever is left of the IMAX brand. With Cinemark, Regal Cinemas, Marcus Theatres, and even AMC releasing big-screen alternatives to IMAX, we think it's important for IMAX to step up their game and do more to earn the upcharges that come with "The IMAX Experience."
Source: AMC Entertainment Press Release
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