Regal Owner Cineworld Strikes Deal With Imax for 15 Laser Projection Systems (Exclusive)

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The movie theater giant is building on an earlier deal for 26 new Imax theaters and upgrading 29 of its existing Imax projectors in the U.S. and Europe.

Imax has struck a new deal with Cineworld/Regal for another 15 next-generation laser projection systems in the U.S. market.

Cineworld Group, which last year completed its $3.6 billion acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group, is building on an earlier agreement for 26 new Imax theaters with laser projection systems and upgrading 29 of its existing Imax projectors in the U.S. and Europe to the new digital projection format.

The latest deal brings 15 new Imax screens with laser projection systems to Regal theaters across New York, California, Texas and Georgia. The Regal acquisition offered Cineworld a major presence in the U.S. exhibition market.

Imax touts its laser projection system, when compared with traditional projection systems, as offering increased resolution, sharper and brighter images and deeper contrast available to filmmakers whose movies shoot directly in the Imax format and play on its screens.

Launched in April 2018, the laser projection systems are operating or set to open in over 230 Imax theaters in locations worldwide. That includes AMC last year also unveiling a deal to upgrade 87 of its Imax projectors at its highest performing AMC locations.

Laser projection from the start has been aimed at the largest Imax auditoriums belonging to mega theater chains. The new projection system targets all commercial multiplexes and, while Imax doesn't discuss pricing, the cost of its new digital projection format is consistent with its earlier Xenon projection systems.

The upgraded Regal theaters will include the laser technology, immersive sound and plush rocker seating. "At Cineworld, we are committed to bringing the most innovative technologies into our theaters with the ultimate goal of creating the best moviegoing experience for our guests,” Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, said in a statement.

"This agreement brings our most advanced Imax technology to our most successful Regal theaters in the United States and builds on the continued growth of our network and box office performance in 2019,” Imax CEO Richard Gelfond added in his own statement.