The IMAX logo
Russell 2000 Component
|Industry||Motion picture production and exhibition|
|Predecessor||Multi-Screen Corporation, IMAX Systems Corporation|
|Founded||1967Montreal, Quebec, Canadain|
|Headquarters||Mississauga, Ontario, Canada|
Bradley Wechsler (Chairman)|
Richard Gelfond (CEO)
|Products||Special-venue films and movie theatres|
Number of employees
|Divisions||IMAX, IMAX 3D, IMAX Dome, IMAX DMR, IMAX at AMC (joint venture with AMC Theatres)|
David Keighley Productions
The IMAX Corporation is a Canadian theatre company which designs and manufactures IMAX cameras and projection systems as well as performing film development, production, post production and distribution to IMAX affiliated theatres worldwide. Founded in 1968, it has headquarters in the Toronto area, and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.
As of September 2017, there were 1,302 IMAX theatres located in 75 countries, of which 1,203 were in commercial multiplexes. These include IMAX variations such as IMAX 3D, IMAX Dome, and Digital IMAX. The CEO is Richard Gelfond.
IMAX is a Canadian corporation that is based in Mississauga, Ontario. The company was founded in 1967 when three filmmakers, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr incorporated IMAX Corporation. The idea and the new technology, which resulted in the birth of the company, came from the work that Ferguson, Kroitor and Kerr had done producing the multi-screen National Film Board of Canada production In the Labyrinth and Ferguson's Man and the Polar Regions for Expo 67. From their experience, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr realized that new technology would be necessary to develop a larger and more complex project than previously seen. As a result, they sought an engineer named William Shaw in 1968 (he had gone to Galt Collegiate Institute in Galt, Ontario, now Cambridge, with Ferguson and Kerr) to help develop this technology. Shaw created this new projector that allowed for films to have exceptionable quality and to be ten times larger than conventional 35mm picture frames. The first movie IMAX Corporation produced using this new technology was Tiger Child which was featured at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. It was because of the multi-screen viewing that Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr wanted to create a theatre with giant screens, surround sound and stadium seating.
William Shaw was instrumental in helping IMAX Corporation fulfill its ambitions in creating larger and more realistic experiences for audience which included oversized screens, surround sound and steep seating for better viewing. Shaw remained at IMAX (although officially retired) as a designer and inventor until his passing on August 31, 2002 at the age of 73. Before retiring Shaw created a 3D camera which was sent to the International Space Station for IMAX films. In 1994, investment bankers Gelfond and Bradley Wechsler, acquired IMAX Corporation through a leveraged buyout and publicly listed the company on the NASDAQ stock exchange. IMAX then began to focus their abilities on attracting Hollywood production houses. Another engineer at IMAX Corporation Brian Bonnick, Chief Technology Officer at IMAX Corporation, developed technologies that made it possible for the worldwide IMAX to produce major Hollywood films. More flexible technology required by that industry led to the development of the IMAX DMR (Digital Re-Mastering), which was able to adapt quickly in various locations. Newer technology followed, including the IMAX Experience and the IMAX MPX theatre system. Revamped IMAX 2D footage has been transferred into IMAX 3D.
- In April 2009, Gelfond became the sole IMAX CEO and Wechsler moved into the role of chairman of the board of directors.
- Later in 2009, IMAX participated in the movie Avatar, to which the company credits its mainstream Hollywood success.
- In March 2011 IMAX noted that China's Wanda Cinema Line announced a 75-theatre deal with IMAX Corporation.
- In 2012, IMAX opened its first location in Tianjin, China.
- On October 8, 2015, IMAX China, a subsidiary of the company, was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. According to The Hollywood Reporter and The Wall Street Journal, "IMAX China raised $248 Million in its initial public offering," which was the "bottom of [the] indicative price range."
- As of September 2017, there were 1,302 theatres in 75 countries.
In November 2016, Marvel Television and IMAX announced the live action television series, Marvel's Inhumans, based on the superhero race of the same name. The series, co-produced with ABC Studios, saw IMAX serve as a financing partner, a first for IMAX, which allowed Marvel to spend more on the series than it had on its other television series, especially for visual effects. The entire series was filmed with IMAX digital cameras. Inhumans debuted an edited specific for theatrical-release version of the first two episodes. The episodes debuted on IMAX screens in theaters worldwide in September 2017, with the series airing weekly on ABC afterwards. After the poor reception to the IMAX version of the first two episodes and a box office gross of $3.5 million, Richard Gelfond said, "Going forward, we intend to take a more conservative approach consistent with the Game of Thrones approach to capital investments and content. We will be more conservative when considering whether to invest our own capital; and if so, to what extent."
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