IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced it signed a hybrid joint revenue share agreement with Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, the biggest cinema chain operator in France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, for five new IMAX® theatres in France.
A new theatre will be added to Pathé's La Villette Cinema in Paris and four new theatres featuring IMAX® with Laser will be added to the exhibitor's circuit in France with locations to be determined. In addition, Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé will upgrade the IMAX theatre at its Gaumont Disney Village Cinema to an IMAX with Laser system.
The agreement brings to 22 Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé's total IMAX commitment, with 12 theatres in France, six in the Netherlands and four in Switzerland that are currently open or contracted to open. The deal also represents the single largest theatre signing for IMAX in France and positions Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé as the second-largest IMAX exhibitor in Western Europe.
"Today's agreement is a direct result of our guests' positive response to the quality delivered by the IMAX with Laser systems at our La Valette-du-Var and Montpellier multiplexes, which have been among the top-performing IMAX screens in Western Europe since launch," said Martine Odillard, Chairman of Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé. "We are delighted to add more IMAX theatres to our circuit and bring more of our patrons in France the most advanced cinema technology available."
"Western Europe is a key growth market for IMAX. Expanding in France with the country's number one exhibitor makes this a highly strategic agreement that underscores the rising demand for IMAX in the region," said IMAX Corp. CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "Thanks to the support of valued partners such as Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, we've made tremendous strides in expanding our footprint in Western Europe, where we've grown our network by 43 percent in just two years."
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 is the biggest cinema chain operator in France (71 movie theatres), the Netherlands (25 movie theatres) and Switzerland (9 movie theatres). It is also present in Belgium (5 movie theatres). At the end of 2015, Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé operates 110 movie theatres totaling 1,051 screens, 64.5 million admissions and 710 million euros in revenue.
Les cinemas Gaumont Pathé is constantly striving to improve the quality of its screens and services, by offering wide-ranging programming and innovative settings for screenings in order to ensure a unique and up-to-date experience for moviegoers
Les cinemas Gaumont Pathé is a subsidiary of Pathé, one of the biggest film producers in Europe and a major player in film distribution.