Imax Has Georgia on Its Mind With Theater Sale

South Caucasus exhibitor Cavea Cinemas is to install a giant-screen theater in a new 10-screen multiplex in capital Tbilisi.

TORONTO  Continuing its drive into Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Imax on Tuesday said south Caucasus exhibitor Cavea Cinemas has acquired a giant-screen theater for a new 10-screen multiplex in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The sale comes as Andrew Cripps, Imax's president, EMEA, continues to target international expansion for the Canadian-based exhibitor beyond North America.

"Today's agreement marks the sixth new territory we've entered in 2014 and represents the 13th country in the EMEA region to have added an Imax theater this year," Cripps said in a statement as part of an announcement timed for the 2014 CineEurope conference in Barcelona.

Recent EMEA expansion includes a three-theater deal with Formula Kino for the Russian market, Imax's first theater in Mongolia with partner New Tour Safaris, and an 11-theater deal with Cineworld Group for the U.K., Central Europe and Israel.

The Cavea Cinemas deal follows the Imax playbook, whereby the giant-screen exhibitor has a local partner install an anchor attraction in a flagship multiplex, then follows up with sales of satellite screens in the region.