IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) and Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, leaders of exhibition theatres in France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, today announced hybrid joint revenue share agreements for 20 IMAX® with Laser systems. IMAX’s new ground-breaking laser experience for commercial multiplexes and 12-channel immersive sound system will be added to a combination of new and existing Pathé and Gaumont sites across Europe. This announcement also represents the industry’s first multi-territory all-laser IMAX cinema circuit.
Under these agreements, Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont will upgrade 11 IMAX digital theatres in operation to IMAX with Laser along with renewed 10-year lease terms, reinforcing its commitment to The IMAX Experience®. In addition, seven IMAX with Laser systems will replace IMAX theatre systems that are currently contracted to open. Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont will also add IMAX with Laser systems to two new IMAX® theatres to be located in France. Under the agreements, the new technology is slated to be installed between 2018 and 2023, with 10 IMAX with Laser systems to be added to IMAX theatres in France, seven in the Netherlands and three in Switzerland.
With these agreements, Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont has a total of 30 IMAX® theatres that are currently open or contracted to open, including 18 theatres in France, seven in the Netherlands, four in Switzerland and one in Belgium.
In 2005, the exhibitor opened its first IMAX theatre in Amsterdam and today its IMAX locations are among the highest-grossing in Europe.
“The accelerated adoption of IMAX with Laser and success of our existing flagship theatres is fueling our expansion across Western Europe – particularly in France, where we have tripled our contracted network in the last two years,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “Since the launch of our new laser experience in April, we have signed over 170 deals, marking the fastest uptake to a new technology in our 50-year history. We believe this is a testament to the highly differentiated experience IMAX with Laser delivers and the commitment to innovation from top theatre operators such as Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont, whose IMAX network will be the first to be fully powered by IMAX with Laser.”
“We are proud to announce that Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont will equip 30 IMAX® with Laser theatres in Europe by 2023. We are the first network committed to be fully powered by IMAX® with Laser. This commitment forms an integral part of our innovation and upgrading strategy, by which we aim to offer movie-goers an increasingly intense and immersive cinema experience,” said Martine Odillard, Chairman of Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont.
IMAX with Laser provides audiences with strikingly crystal-clear and vivid images to suspend disbelief when experiencing today’s biggest blockbusters. The next-generation 4K laser projection system features a new optical engine and suite of proprietary IMAX technologies that delivers increased resolution, sharper and brighter images, deeper contrast as well as the widest range of colors available to filmmakers to present more distinct, exotic colors than ever before.
The new system will also feature IMAX’s 12-channel sound technology that incorporates new side and overheard channels to deliver greater dynamic range and precision for ultimate audio immersion and sound you can feel.