IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Cineplex (TSX: CGX) today announced an agreement that will see the installation of two new IMAX auditoriums as well as the installation of a new IMAX VR Centre.
An IMAX® auditorium will be added at Cineplex Odeon Eglinton Town Centre Cinemas in Toronto, Ontario, and at Cineplex Cinemas Normanview in Regina, Saskatchewan. With both sites expected to open in November 2017, the addition of these two auditoriums will bring the number of IMAX auditoriums in Cineplex theatres across Canada to 25. Additionally, the companies are also working together to install Canada’s first IMAX VR Centre at Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.
“Cineplex is a leading entertainment company and an excellent partner that shares our commitment to innovation,” said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation. “It has led the way in expanding the IMAX network across Canada and is now the first to launch an IMAX VR Centre in the country. We believe the Centre will give audiences of all ages a new level of immersive entertainment experiences.”
“Offering our guests new entertainment choices and a variety of experiences is what Cineplex is about and we are proud to partner with IMAX on this venture,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “The Centre, slated to open this fall, will offer our guests immersive, multi-dimensional virtual reality experiences, including movie entertainment content and games.”
Relocating the existing box office to the upper level of Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, Cineplex’s new IMAX VR Centre will be situated adjacent to its main entrance. The Centre will feature a unique combination of premium technology and world-class content that lets users see, feel, move and play in new worlds in a powerfully immersive and realistic way, much like IMAX theatres offer moviegoers a differentiated and best-in-class film experience. With groundbreaking VR headset technology, 360-degree sound and sophisticated room tracking, players will be instantly transported into new interactive virtual worlds that are more realistic than anything imaginable.
The design – proprietary to IMAX – consists of multiple “pods” to allow multiple players to enjoy highly interactive, exciting, moveable VR experiences in an extremely social environment. The pods, which are designed to optimize user mobility and interaction in virtual environments, can be adapted for specific content experiences – whether single or multi-user.
IMAX launched its flagship pilot IMAX VR Centre in Los Angeles and its second location in New York City. The Company is set to open up to eight additional centres in North America, Western Europe and Asia in 2017. IMAX plans to use these pilot locations to test several factors, including the overall customer experience, pricing models and the types of content featured. If successful, the intent is to roll out the concept globally to select multiplexes as well as commercial locations such as shopping centers and tourist destinations.