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IMAX Signs Multiple Theatre Deal in Middle East


Written by: IMAX Corporation
Date: January 18, 2005


Category: Press Releases

Leading Middle Eastern Exhibitor to Open Two Multiplex-Based IMAX® Theatres in Kuwait City

Hollywood Blockbusters in IMAX's Format Coming to Kuwait for the First Time

TORONTO, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX; TSX: IMX) today announced that it has signed an agreement with Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC), the largest commercial exhibitor in Kuwait, to install two IMAX MPX™ theatre systems at multiplexes in Kuwait City. The first, which is anticipated to open in late 2005 and be a retrofit of an existing stadium seating auditorium, will be one of the first multiplex-based IMAX theatres in the Middle East; the second is scheduled to debut by 2007. The agreement brings the total number of IMAX theatres scheduled to be open in the Middle East by 2007 to nine, including new multiplex locations opening in Dubai, UAE and Doha, Qatar. This is the third multi-theatre deal IMAX has announced in the past three weeks, reflecting the strong interest IMAX is seeing from commercial exhibitors around the world.

"The compelling economics of the IMAX MPX theatre system and the worldwide success of IMAX DMR releases make this an ideal time to join the IMAX theatre network," said Alan Hall, General Manager of Kuwait National Cinema Company. "Adding IMAX theatres to our multiplexes will enable us to collect a premium price, offer the ultimate movie experience and further differentiate our sites from competitors."

"KNCC is recognized as a trend setter in the Middle Eastern exhibition business, and we believe the multiplex-based IMAX theatres they will open will serve as a showcase for the whole region," said IMAX Co-CEO's and Co-Chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "We're excited to be aligning with such a prominent commercial exhibitor to offer Kuwait's moviegoers a new way to experience Hollywood movies, and we feel it will maximize our visibility and growth opportunities in this developing market."

Both KNCC IMAX theatres will be capable of showing Hollywood films that have been converted into IMAX's format using IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology, as well as original IMAX and IMAX 3D films. The IMAX MPX theatre system was specifically designed to make it more cost effective for commercial exhibitors to join the IMAX theatre network. The system enables a multiplex operator to more easily add an IMAX theatre to a development by retrofitting an existing stadium seating auditorium or via an economical new build.

About Kuwait National Cinema Company

Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC) is the leading exhibitor in Kuwait with 20 locations throughout the country. KNCC was incorporated in 1954 and pioneered the Al Sharqiah Cinema, a 1,000 person venue and the first theatre to open in Kuwait. The company has developed and implemented a multi-faceted growth strategy, which includes using luxurious shopping centers as prime locations for multi-screen theaters, renovating older theaters and upgrading its use of technology. In 2002, KNCC introduced the first online ticketing service in the Middle East and it now also offers customers the ability to buy tickets with Smart Cards at the theatre via self-operated ticketing machines. KNCC's key corporate objectives include continuing to lead the Middle Eastern cinema industry and creating a cultural and educational niche for Kuwait's moviegoers.

About IMAX Corporation

Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies. IMAX's businesses include the creation and delivery of the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX and IMAX 3D technology, and the development of the highest quality digital production and presentation. IMAX has developed revolutionary technology called IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) that makes it possible for virtually any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive family entertainment experiences. As of September 30, 2004, there were more than 235 IMAX theatres operating in 35 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, IMAX MPX™, and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at

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