Former Paramount Intl. prexy Andrew Cripps has been tapped Imax president of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Cripps will handle local expansion and distribution opportunities in those regions. As part of the appointment, Cripps was also made exec VP of Imax Corp.

“Given Andrew’s leadership, vast industry experience and strong relationships with exhibitors and studios, we believe he is well equipped to help us maximize the growth opportunities that exist in the under-penetrated markets of EMEA,” said Imax CEO Richard Gelfond.

“I have known and worked with Andrew for many years,” Imax chairman and prexy Greg Foster said, “and hold him in the highest regard both personally and professionally.”

Based in London, Cripps headed Par Intl. since 2007 but opted not to stay with the studio after it moved to consolidate most of its international operations to Los Angeles. Prior to joining, Cripps served as prexy and chief operating officer for UIP, the former distribution joint venture between Par and Universal.

Imax currently operates 96 theaters in EMEA, of which the majority are commercial plexes, with an additional 33 theaters scheduled to open throughout the region by 2014.