IMAX to expand in Middle East

Giant cinema screen operator IMAX is to open 3 new screens in the Middle East. One will be in Bahrain and the other two in the United Arab Emirates.

The new installations are in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, which already operates VOX-branded cinemas in the region.

The new plan will take the number of VOX/IMAX screens to seven, including theatres in Lebanon and Oman.

“VOX Cinemas’ first IMAX theatre opened in 2015 at the exhibitor’s flagship complex located within the landmark Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, UAE. Since its launch, the theatre, which features an IMAX with Laser system, has become one of the highest-grossing IMAX sites in the world. In September 2016, VOX Cinemas opened the first IMAX theatre in Lebanon, located in City Centre Beirut, and the first in Oman, located in City Centre Qurum, Muscat. Both sites have generated approximately 25 per cent of the gross box office for all major blockbusters released in their respective markets since opening,” says an IMAX press release.

“As the fastest-growing cinema chain in the Middle East, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas is a strategic partner that is bringing IMAX to its flagship complexes in top tier locations. This is our third deal with Majid Al Futtaim in the last 24 months and based on our successful track record, we expect these future sites to be very strong performers,” said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond. “The Middle East remains a solid growth market for IMAX with per screen averages that are among the highest in the world. We believe that with strategic partners such as Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, we will be able to seize the many growth opportunities that exist and further expand our footprint in this important market.”

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