IMAX to open its first cinemas in Kazakhstan
Sunday 19 September 2010
Audiences in Kazakhstan will be able to experience IMAX's big-screen format for the first time later this year, following a deal between IMAX Corp and local cinema owner Kinopark.
Kinopark will install three IMAX theater systems in Kazakhstan beginning in November 2010. The first screen will open in an existing Kinopark multiplex in the capital city of Astana, while the other systems will be part of new multiplexes scheduled to open in 2011 and 2012.
The Kinopark announcement brings the total number of IMAX screens scheduled to be operating in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to 30 by 2012. That makes Russia and the CIS the third largest market for IMAX behind the US and China.
"IMAX theatres in Russia and CIS are producing record-breaking results, demonstrating the growing popularity of the IMAX brand in the region," said Kinopark managing director Abdrashid Rakhmetov.
The IMAX format is expanding rapidly in countries such as Russia and China with an emerging middle class that is seeking new experiences in entertainment. In addition to the immersive quality of the big-screen experience, IMAX's digital projection systems can screen both 2D and 3D movies.
IMAX theaters usually play Hollywood films, but the company has started working with production companies in China to make Chinese-language IMAX movies. These include Feng Xiaogang's recent disaster movie Aftershock and John Woo's upcoming Flying Tigers.
Kinopark is Kazakhstan's biggest cinema operator with seven locations in cities including Astana and Almaty. The country's box office takings are expanding at a rate of 20-30 percent year-on-year. Kinopark's new cinemas are usually located in shopping and entertainment centers.
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