The BFI Pacts With ODEON for IMAX Programming Duties

The big screen venue will be run by the European exhibition giant and kicks off with "The Dark Knight Rises" Friday at the London site.

LONDON –  The British Film Institute has signed a concession agreement with European exhibition giant ODEON for the organization's BFI IMAX theater in central London.

The agreement kickstarts July 19 and will mean the exhibitor will provide a range of services for the large screen venue which, from Friday, will be home to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

The BFI IMAX single screen venue has grossed almost £25 million ($39 million) in box office takings over the last five years.

The BFI selected ODEON after a tender process for the venue "to continue to provide the best possible service to the film industry and its audiences," the Institute said.

The cinema will continue to be called the BFI IMAX and the ownership will remain the same.

ODEON plans to upgrade the retail and bar offering during August and September, including the introduction of a Costa-branded coffee shop and a Yog frozen probiotic yogurt bar.

ODEON will also be offering programming services to the BFI IMAX, including the latest IMAX blockbusters, alternative content such as live opera and also theater and educational shows.

The BFI IMAX venue will also be added to the ODEON's website and booking system but the BFI IMAX website or booking line will be cut.

"The BFI IMAX is not only a unique and iconic cinema but over the past five years has been transformed into a thriving commercial success," said Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO. "It’s in great shape for ODEON to help us now build on this success."

ODEON & UCI Cinemas CEO Rupert Gavin said: "It’s a pleasure to be working together with the BFI, who support and encourage the development of the UK film industry, and we hope to be able to offer both ODEON and BFI IMAX guests the very best service and selection of films."

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