Immersive ICE Cinemas Heading to Middle East Under Vox Deal (Exclusive)
The arrangement marks the first time premium ICE theaters will be made available outside of France.
French exhibitor CGR has signed an exclusive deal with Vox Cinemas, the Middle East's largest theater operator, to bring its new premium immersive screen concept ICE to the region, marking the first international rollout of the technology.
Featuring Dolby Atmos sound, DK speakers, 9P 4K laser projection and special recliner seating, ICE (Immersive Cinema Experience) was first unveiled in France in late 2016.
Last year saw a record number of films released in ICE immersive technology, including Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Bohemian Rhapsody and Aquaman, while 2019 is set to see more than 20 titles using the format.
As part of a strategic partnership unveiled Thursday, Vox — which is the most active operator in Saudi Arabia, having opened two multiplexes there so far and with 100 screens planned by the end of the year — will add the concept to select cinemas across the region.
"We were impressed by the outstanding technological excellence of the Ice Theaters concept and welcome this strategic partnership with CGR Cinemas," said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment and Cinemas, which operates Vox. "As part of our vision to deliver outstanding offerings to customers across our markets, we continually seek the best cinema experience that can truly enthrall our audience."
Added Jocelyn Bouyssy, managing director of CGR: “This might just be the beginning of our global expansion with ICE Theaters, but it is going to be a big one. Vox will be revealing the full number of screens coming to their theaters in the near future, and while I do not have the exact number right now, it will be ambitious. We also know that the first three regions where ICE will be available in the Middle East will be Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.”