Imax Takes Stake in Home Theater Tech Startup Prima Cinema

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond
Imax CEO Richard Gelfond

The company has technology that could allow Imax to encrypt and transmit 3D theatrical releases to customers' homes on a day-and-date basis.

TORONTO – Imax has taken a major step toward rolling out a mass market home theater option for consumers by acquiring an unspecified stake in startup Prima Cinema.

Prima has a proprietary system that can encrypt and transmit theatrical releases from Hollywood studios for secure home viewing.

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The move comes as Imax continues to develop a home theater system for consumers that features its imaging technology.

Prima Cinema's technology can also potentially allow first-run Imax films to reach customers on a day-and-date basis.

Imax plans to merge the Prima Cinema technology into its private theater system and other possible platforms.

As part of the agreement, Imax will receive a five-year window of exclusivity to distribute and resell Prima systems in China. 

Imax will also take a seat on Prima Cinema's board of directors and retains a "significant option position" in the company.

"Today's agreement with Prima Cinema enhances our ability to deliver a premium, end-to-end in-home entertainment experience, combining the best of Imax's immersive image and sound technology with the delivery of current theatrical titles," said Imax CEO Richard Gelfond in a statement on Monday.

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