Imax inks deal for Australian digital theaters

Exhibitor also says 'Dark Knight' will screen in 94 locales

TORONTO -- Imax has signed a joint-venture agreement with Australia's Hoyts Cinemas chain to install four digital theaters in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney by 2009.

As part of the deal, Toronto-based Imax and Hoyts will share the cost and revenue from the four super-sized theaters, each of which will feature a digital projection system, with the first three to open by December. The fourth will open in Melbourne in 2009.

Imax also said Thursday that Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" will open in 94 of its theaters domestically July 18, and in 15 Imax theaters internationally, concurrent with its 35mm release.