TORONTO (Reuters) — Imax Corp., a movie theater chain with towering screens at museums and amusement parks worldwide, said Monday it will soon issue shares for the first time in its 27-year history.

An Imax rep said Imax intends to apply for a listing on the Nasdaq exchange in New York and on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Big plans ahead

Imax officials were unavailable for further comment due to regulatory restrictions, but company officials said in an interview last month they were on the edge of developing new entertainment venues.

Imax is betting that expansion of simulator rides and interactive computer games into video arcades, shopping malls and urban entertainment areas is just the ticket for future growth, Imax vice chairman Richard Gelfond said.

“A lot of people think this will be a way to get the couch potato away from the TV,” Gelfond said.

Imax will be joining a parade of Canadian film production and entertainment companies that have gone public.

Imax may have reason to be optimistic. Shares of Iwerks Entertainment Inc., also a large-screen movie exhibitor, immediately doubled in price after its initial public offering in mid-October. But Iwerks shares have since eased back near their original offering price.

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