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AMC, Imax add to large-screen deal

Exhib will add up to 25 screens in North America

Imax and AMC Entertainment announced Tuesday that they are expanding their joint rollout venture, which will add 15 to 25 digital large-screen plexes in 2011.

The deal, set to launch in new and existing Imax locations, is part of a 2007 agreement to install 104 Imax theaters. Currently, 79 screens are in operation with the remaining 25 expected to open by the end of the year.

“We are proud to continue being the largest exhibitor partner of Imax, and we are committed to providing our guests with the best choices in moviegoing,” AMC prexy and CEO Gerry Lopez said in a statement. Imax CEO Richard Gelfond added, “We expect to increase the number of potential Imax theaters in North America beyond the 400 locations we originally targeted.”

With the extended partnership, AMC will operate between 125 and 135 Imax locations including six existing film-based screens. The deal also will lengthen the joint venture from seven to 10 years, giving it a new end date of 2017.

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