IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced it signed an agreement with Pathé, the biggest cinema chain operator in France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, for five IMAX® theatres.
In France, IMAX® with laser systems will be added to Pathé's Cinéma Gaumont in Montpellier and a new complex to be located in La Valette-du-Var in Southeast France. In Switzerland, Pathé will install IMAX digital theatre systems in new complexes at the Mall of Switzerland in Ebikon, the Tivoli Mall in Spreitenbach and at a new construction project, the Alpine Hub in Riddes. The deal brings to 17 Pathé's total IMAX commitment, with seven theatres in France, six in the Netherlands and four in Switzerland that are currently open or contracted to open.
"The performance of our IMAX sites in France has been convincing and today's agreement is a direct result of this and the success of our entire IMAX network, which we hope to replicate in our new state-of-the-art, custom-built IMAX theatres," said Martine Odillard, Chairman of Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé. "We are particularly excited about our new flagship complex in La Valette-du-Var where IMAX's next-generation laser and sound technology will serve as the anchor attraction."
"It is clear that the appetite for IMAX is growing in France and Switzerland," said Andrew Cripps, President, IMAX EMEA. "In France, our box office is up by more than 20 percent from last year and the first commercial multiplex theatre in Switzerland, Pathé's IMAX site in Geneva, has grossed approximately $1.9 million in its first year of operation. In fact, Pathé has the highest IMAX per screen average in EMEA. As we continue to execute against our European expansion strategy, we are pleased to build on existing partnerships with Europe's exhibition leaders such as Pathé."
IMAX with laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology - providing audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever, combined with a whole new level of immersive audio. Designed from the ground up for IMAX's largest screens, the dual 4K laser projection system is equipped with a new optical engine and suite of proprietary IMAX technologies capable of projecting an image with up to a 1.43:1 aspect ratio with maximum resolution and sharpness, unparalleled 2D and 3D brightness, industry-leading contrast and an expanded color gamut that will allow filmmakers to present more vivid and exotic colors than ever before.
The new system also includes IMAX's next-generation sound technology that delivers even greater power and precision for ultimate audio immersion. It has been upgraded to 12 discrete channels plus sub-bass, and includes additional side channels as well as new overhead channels that will improve the system's ability to position sounds around the audience and further ensure every seat is the best in the house.
About Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé
Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, the leader in France (70 movie theaters), the Netherlands (22 movie theaters) and Switzerland (8 movie theaters) with a total of 988 screens, is a subsidiary of Pathé, one of the biggest film producers in Europe and a major player in film distribution. With 65.7 million spectators and 686 million euros in turnover in 2014, Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé confirms its leading position among European cinema networks.
Throughout the network, the quality of film theaters and services is constantly being improved notably through digital projection to offer both higher projection quality and a greater diversity of films.