IMAX Signs Theatre Deal With ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group; Introduces Joint Venture Business in Spain and Italy

November 23, 2010 – 12:06 pm

NEW YORK, Nov 23, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group, Europe’s largest exhibitor, today announced an agreement to install two new digital IMAX(R) theatre systems under joint venture agreements in Mallorca and Milan, marking IMAX’s first JV theatres in Spain and Italy. The Spanish location will open under the Cinesa brand in Mallorca. The location in Italy will operate under the UCI brand in Milan. Both locations are scheduled to open on May 20th, 2011. These new theatres are the latest in a surge of IMAX theatre system signings and openings in Western Europe this year in markets such as the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands and Germany.

Today’s announcement adds to ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group’s position as the largest operator of IMAX theatres in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

“Building on the tremendous success that we have had with IMAX in our ODEON theatres in the UK, we are pleased to bring The IMAX Experience(R) to our theatres in continental Europe,” said Rupert Gavin, CEO of ODEON & UCI Cinemas Group. “Based on our firsthand experience with IMAX, we are hopeful that the IMAX brand will be embraced by our customers in Mallorca and Milan. We are optimistic that based on the success of these initial locations, we will see an expansion of our IMAX business into our other key markets across Europe.”

“Expanding our joint venture business into two major markets with Europe’s largest and most recognized exhibitor is an ideal way to capitalize on the momentum of our brand in this region,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “Just as we’ve seen in other parts of the world, consumer demand for The IMAX Experience has grown significantly in Western Europe over the past year, as more locations open. Introducing our brand to new audiences in these markets with UCI will help to continue to drive increasing demand in the region.”

“In 2010, we have signed more theatre deals in Western Europe than in any other year in our history,” added Larry T. O’Reilly, IMAX’s Executive Vice President, Theatre Development. “UCI is a superb ambassador of the IMAX brand, and we believe that expanding our relationship with them in key European markets like Milan and Mallorca will serve as a catalyst for increased long-term growth in Europe.”

IMAX’s digital theatre system delivers The IMAX Experience and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens. The system can run both IMAX and IMAX (R) 3D presentations.

Press Release >>

UPDATE: Additional coverage on IMAX’s latest theater deal:

The Wrap: IMAX Signs First Joint Ventures in Spain & Italy

Variety: Imax inks Odeon deal for new digital systems