Imax sets up screen in multiplex in Hangzhou

BEIJING — Imax Corp. has inked a deal to build a multiplex theater in China, part of the exhib’s stated aim of expanding in the still largely untapped market.

The Canadian exhib said the theater would be installed in a new 16-screen multiplex in the city of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province on China’s wealthy east coast. The theater is scheduled to open in late June, in time for the release of Feng Xiaogang’s “Aftershock,” which is about the Tengshan earthquake and is the first mainstream Chinese film adapted for 3D technology.

Imax is linking up with a state-owned firm, Zhejiang Xinyuan Cultural Industry Group, to install the multiplex. The big-screen exhib already has 26 theaters in China and is targeting 50 by 2012. In December, Imax said it was in talks with at least five film companies in China.

Imax’s fortunes have been given a strong boost in China by the success of “Avatar.” At the end of last year, the group had 430 Imax theaters in 48 countries, of which 309 commercial and 121 institutional.

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