Imax signs multi-theatre joint venture deal with French theater chain


MUMBAI: Imax Corporation and French exhibitor Gaumont Pathe Movie Theatres (EuroPalaces) have signed an agreement to install four new Imax digital theatre systems at premier EuroPalaces locations in Paris/Peripherie, and three regional cities throughout France.


The new locations will be structured as joint ventures between Imax and the exhibitor, with each location scheduled to be installed at the end of June 2010.


The deal was signed following the success of EuroPalaces’ Gaumont Disney Village Imax theatre in Paris, which was recently upgraded with an Imax digital projection system, as well as the success of the exhibitor’s three Imax joint venture theatres in The Netherlands which operate under the Pathe theatre circuit in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. With these four new theatres, EuroPalaces will operate a total of eight Imax theatre systems with three in The Netherlands and five in France.


EuroPalaces managing director Franck Lebouchard said, "Our Imax theatres in France and The Netherlands have increased admissions in each of the complexes where they are located, demonstrating firsthand that consumers are seeking out The Imax Experience as the best way to see a movie. It is clear to us that there is a strong demand for The Imax Experience in France, particularly with the new catalog of movies."


Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond added, "We are pleased to be expanding our partnership with EuroPalaces, one of the most prominent and respected exhibitors in Europe, which increases our availability to consumers, provides a larger platform for great films and builds on the momentum and the overall growth of the Imax network in the region. Our digital projection system continues to gain traction worldwide, and we believe EuroPalaces’ increasing stake in the Imax business will fuel even more interest from other exhibitors in other markets in Europe and around the world. We’re looking forward to continued success with them as we enter this joint venture partnership and expand our relationship."


"Gaumont and Pathe are brands that are associated with top-notch multiplexes, which makes them an ideal joint venture partner for Imax," added Imax general manager Theatre Development Europe, Middle East and Africa, Julian Stanford. "We’re both committed to delivering the best movie experiences and with these new locations more people in France will be able to experience the world’s greatest movies in the most powerful and immersive way."