Multiplex operator United Cinemas plans to install Imax digital theaters in its Japanese sites, a UC rep has confirmed.

Imax is skedded to make the formal announcement of the deal shortly, but it involves a total of five sites, with probable candidates being in Sapporo, Urawa, Fukuoka and Tokyo’s Toshimaen district.

Three Imax systems are expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

This follows an earlier announcement by UC that it plans to install digital 3-D cinema systems made by Real D in all 21 of its sites.

Four UC sites already have the systems and five more will get them by early August, for a total of 10 screens in nine sites. The remainder of the sites will be 3-D ready by the fall of this year.