Imax signs first digital theatre deal in Russia

MUMBAI: Imax Corporation and Rising Star Media, a joint venture between National Amusements, Inc. and Soquel Ventures, have inked an agreement to install an Imax theatre at Rising Star’s Kino Star City multiplex at Mega Belyadacha regional mall in Moscow, Russia.

Scheduled to be installed in Moscow shortly, the new theatre will utilize Imax’s new digital projection system. The deal is one of a number of recent significant international deals signed by Imax, indicating enthusiasm by European exhibitors in the Imax theatre business following the North American rollout of Imax’s digital projection system. National Amusements currently operates seven Imax theatres in the United States, one in Argentina and one in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"The Imax theatre business has proven to be very effective for both Rising Star Media and National Amusements, and we are very excited to expand with more locations in Russia. Imax’s digital projection system allows greater program flexibility, which enables us to offer our customers even more movies in a truly unique and immersive way. Hollywood directors are discovering the excitement that the Imax technology adds to a film, and as a result we are looking forward to being able to present more unique film experiences to our patrons," said Rising Star Media head and National Amusements, Inc president Shari E. Redstone.

"Russian moviegoers love The Imax Experience. Our partnership with Imax has cemented Rising Star Media’s position as a high-tech leader in the Russian exhibition business. We look forward to expanding our Imax theatre network into Moscow, and through the economical and logistical advantages of Imax’s new digital projection system, we are able to open quickly to take advantage of the amazing Imax film slate in 2009," said Rising Star Media director Paul B. Heth.

"Our digital projection system has boosted interest from Hollywood studios and exhibitors worldwide, and we’re particularly encouraged by the interest we’re starting to see in Europe. Russia continues to play a key role in our European expansion strategy, and we’re pleased to see top exhibitors who are already in the Imax business open additional Imax theatres," said Imax co-CEOs and co-chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler.

"National Amusements and Rising Star Media have both been fantastic partners and we’re delighted to expand our relationship with them as we continue to grow the Imax network in Russia. Rising Star Media operates a successful Imax theatre in St. Petersburg, and we’re confident that their location in Moscow will be well received by moviegoers as well," added Imax executive vice president theatre development Larry O’Reilly.