Imax has expanded its partnership with UK-based Cineworld Group to 52 giant screen auditoriums now set to be upgraded or opened by 2026. 

Cineworld is already under contract for 47 new or upgraded Imax theaters. The new deal will add another five new Imax theaters with laser projections systems across the UK and Europe.

The new agreement comes as Cineworld, the owner of Regal in the U.S. and the second-largest cinema chain worldwide behind AMC Theatres, continues to ride out a pandemic that tore through the exhibition sector with lockdown-era theater closures and increased debt loads.

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The expanded Cineworld deal also underlines how Imax has returned to signing theater agreements with exhibition partners under financial stress that includes new screen installs as patrons return to the local multiplex to view Hollywood tentpoles. Under the new agreement, Cineworld Leicester Square in London, Regal Irvine Spectrum in California and Regal UA Sheepshead Bay in New York City will all feature Imax laser projection systems.

“The ongoing, outstanding success of the blockbuster movies in Imax proves the importance customers give to high quality, and this only got stronger after COVID,” said Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, in statement.

Cineworld has done business with Imax for nearly 25 years, and in 2018 signed a deal to install 55 theaters across its network and a year later signed up for another 15 large format theaters.

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