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Exhibitor to Open Sixth North American IMAX Theatre and First in the United Kingdom
TORONTO, Jan 19, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and National Amusements Inc., North America's sixth largest theatre operator, today announced new IMAX MPX(R) theatre locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in the United Kingdom. The theatre in Ann Arbor is scheduled to open in time for the May 12 release of Poseidon, the first of four Hollywood blockbusters already slated for release to IMAX(R) theatres this year.
These new IMAX MPX theatres are to be built under a multi-theatre deal announced between the companies in August 2004. Under the terms of that agreement, National Amusements may purchase up to 12 additional IMAX MPX theatre systems, predominantly in the United Kingdom, as an integral part of National Amusements' development plans in that market. National Amusements already has four IMAX MPX theatres in the U.S. in addition to an IMAX theatre at The Bridge: Cinema de Lux theatre in Los Angeles, California.
"We've found the IMAX theatre business works very well in a multiplex setting," said Shari E. Redstone, President, National Amusements, Inc. "Audience reaction to the exceptional sight and sound experience in our IMAX auditoriums has been extremely positive, helping to drive attendance and differentiate our multiplexes from those of our competitors. We look forward to bringing an IMAX theatre to the Ann Arbor area and opening our first U.K. IMAX location as well, to offer our patrons a wide variety of educational and cultural films, as well as Hollywood event films, in the unique IMAX format."
"National Amusements is one of the world's most respected exhibitors, and our relationship continues to be a key component of our commercial growth strategy," said IMAX Co-CEOs and Co-Chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "Each time National Amusements opens an IMAX theatre, it expands our audience base, resulting in higher grosses for digitally re-mastered Hollywood blockbusters in IMAX's format. We believe that increased enthusiasm for The IMAX Experience(R) will translate into more event titles released to IMAX theatres, which will further accelerate the expansion of the IMAX theatre network."
As previously announced under a separate deal, National Amusements also plans to open the first IMAX theatre in Argentina later this year. The company is slated to become the first major exhibitor to operate IMAX theatres on three continents -- with a total of eight IMAX theatres in North America, South America and Europe.
With the opening of the new theatres in Ann Arbor and the U.K., a total of six National Amusements IMAX theatres will be equipped with IMAX MPX technology. IMAX MPX was designed to enable exhibitors to cost-effectively retrofit existing 35mm auditoriums with IMAX theatre systems, taking advantage of Hollywood blockbusters that have been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience -- in both 2D and IMAX(R) 3D. These IMAX theatres are also capable of showing traditional IMAX films.
Showcase Cinemas Ann Arbor has 20 screens and is located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The theatre in the United Kingdom is expected to open in 2007, with the specific location to be announced at a later date.
IMAX and National Amusements both have marketing partnerships with Movietickets.com, giving North American consumers greater access to The IMAX Experience. National Amusements' current IMAX locations are at City Center 15: Cinema de Lux in White Plains, NY; Showcase Cinemas Stonybrook in Louisville, KY; Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills in Manchester, CT; Springdale 18: Cinema de Lux in Springdale, OH; and The Bridge: Cinema de Lux in Los Angeles, CA.
About National Amusements, Inc.
National Amusements, Inc., is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating more than 1,500 screens in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and Russia. National Amusements delivers a superior entertainment experience in theatres around the world under its Showcase, Multiplex, Cinema de Lux, and KinoStar brands. Based in Dedham, Massachusetts, it is a closely held company operating under the third generation of leadership by the Redstone family. National Amusements is also an equal partner in the online ticketing service, MovieTickets.com, and is the parent company of both Viacom and CBS Corporation.
Viacom is one of the leading global entertainment content companies, with world-class brands that include MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land, Logo and more than 100 networks around the world), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music. CBS Corporation is a mass media company with operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, with prominent brands including CBS, UPN, Showtime, CBS Television Stations, Paramount Television, King World, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, Simon & Schuster, Paramount Parks, CBS Digital Media Group, CSTV Networks and CBS Consumer Products.
About IMAX Corporation
Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) is the newest distribution platform for Hollywood content and one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies. IMAX delivers the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR(R) technology. IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) makes it possible for virtually any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences. As of September 30, 2005, there were 261 IMAX theatres operating in more than 38 countries.
IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX DMR(R), IMAX MPX(R) and The IMAX Experience(R) are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.
This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on management's assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include the timing of theatre system deliveries, the mix of theatre systems shipped, the timing of the recognition of revenues and expenses on film production and distribution agreements, the performance of films, the viability of new businesses and products, and fluctuations in foreign currency and in the large format and general commercial exhibition market. These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and in the subsequent reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Source: IMAX Press Release
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