IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and Lumière Pavilions, one of the fastest-growing private movie exhibition chains in China, today announced an agreement to install three digital IMAX® theatre systems in the People's Republic of China.
Under the terms of the deal, the first system is scheduled to open at the Lumiere Pavilion in the city of Chongqing at the end of 2010. The second system is scheduled to open at the Guangzhou Cultural Centre (Tai Ko Hui) in downtown Guangzhou in August, 2011 and the third system is expected to open at a yet-to-be determined location in 2012. This deal brings the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be operating in China by 2012 to 57, and the total number of IMAX systems signings announced year-to-date to 95, which compares to 35 systems in all of 2009.
"IMAX theatres are changing the way people in China experience movies, and the success of IMAX's existing theatres demonstrates that The IMAX Experience® is the premium option that moviegoers are choosing when they visit the cinema," said Jimmy Wu, Chief Executive Officer of Lumière Pavilions Ltd. "We take a lot of pride in offering first-class services and moviegoing experiences with the latest technology and design, and IMAX ensures we continue to do so in addition to increasing the performance of our overall business."
"China is the fastest growing movie exhibition market in the world, and entering into a new relationship with one of the country's most aggressively expanding chains will contribute to the rapid growth of the IMAX network there," said IMAX's Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Gelfond. "We're very excited about our future in this market, where our network is scheduled to at least double in size over the next couple of years and we're already exploring the business of releasing Chinese films in the IMAX format with the release of Aftershock this month."
Mr. Gelfond continued, "These initial theatres with Lumière add to the already abundant number of theatre signings for 2010. The level of signings experienced year-to-date is positioning us for significant network growth in 2010, 2011 and beyond."