updated 5/4/2011 8:46:21 AM ET 2011-05-04T12:46:21

NEW YORK, May 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Southern Theatres, LLC today announced a four-theatre joint revenue sharing agreement to install and operate digital IMAX® theatre systems in four locations in Panama City Beach, FL; Slidell, LA; Winston-Salem, NC; and Macon, GA. The announcement marks the first time IMAX has entered into a joint revenue sharing arrangement with a regional exhibitor. The theatres are expected to open in July of 2011.

The Company's recent spate of theatre signings is partially attributable to increased interest in the IMAX brand from small-market domestic exhibitors, who are increasingly able to enter into the IMAX business as a result of the more favorable economics of IMAX's digital projection system, increased consumer interest in The IMAX Experience® and the expanding IMAX film slate.

"There is significant positive buzz surrounding the IMAX brand among consumers as well as exhibitors, and for good reason," said George Solomon CEO of Southern Theatres, LLC. "More movies are being released in IMAX's format than ever before, and IMAX theatres deliver a differentiated experience that resonates with audiences, regardless of whether the presentation is 2D or 3D. This partnership represents a whole new way for Southern Theatres patrons to experience movies."

"We're seeing very strong performances from our locations in small to mid-sized domestic markets, proving that with the right partners, there is opportunity for expansion and success in this relatively new market segment for our Company," said IMAX's Chief Executive Officer, Richard L. Gelfond. "Through partnerships with exhibitors such as Southern Theatres, who understand the value of delivering top-quality presentations, we will be able to offer The IMAX Experience to more people in places that previously lacked easy access to an IMAX theatre."

IMAX's digital projection system delivers The IMAX Experience and helps drive profitability for studios, exhibitors and IMAX theatres by eliminating the need for film prints, increasing program flexibility and ultimately increasing the number of movies shown on IMAX screens. The system can run both IMAX and IMAX® 3D presentations.

The Company's 2011 film slate from April through December includes:

  • Born to be Wild 3D
  • Fast Five: The IMAX Experience
  • Thor: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Super 8: The IMAX Experience
  • Cars 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Real Steel: The IMAX Experience
  • Contagion: The IMAX Experience
  • Puss in Boots: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Happy Feet 2: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol: The IMAX Experience
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: An IMAX 3D Experience

About Southern Theatres, LLC. (www.thegrandtheatre.com)

Southern Theatres, L.L.C., owned and operated by George Solomon, was formed in May of 2002. Mr. Solomon has been in the theatre business with his family for over 50 years and launched Southern Theatres, LLC to develop and operate state-of-the art multiplex stadium-seating movie theatres. In April 2005, Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) made a $30 million equity investment in Southern Theatres, L.L.C. VSS is a private equity and mezzanine capital fund management company dedicated to investing in media, communications and information industries in North America and Europe. Southern Theatres, L.L.C. is responsible for the daily operations of The Grand Theatres and Amstar Cinemas in 19 locations with 278 screens in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas with 1 additional location and 14 screens planned for 2011. The Company is well positioned for continued expansion in key markets throughout the Southeast.

About IMAX Corporation

IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment and technology companies, specializing in the creation and delivery of premium, awe-inspiring entertainment experiences. With a growing suite of cutting-edge motion picture and sound technologies, and a globally recognized entertainment brand, IMAX is singularly situated at the convergence of the entertainment industry, innovation and the digital media world. The industry's top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and as such, the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. The Company's new digital projection and sound systems - combined with a growing blockbuster film slate - are fueling the rapid expansion of the IMAX network in established markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan, as well as emerging markets such as China and Russia. IMAX theaters deliver the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX®, IMAX 3D®, and IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technologies. IMAX DMR enables virtually any motion picture to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo and Shanghai. As of March 31, 2011, there were 528 IMAX theatres (408 commercial, 120 institutional) operating in 46 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience® and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/imax ), Twitter ( www.twitter.com/imax ) and YouTube ( www.youtube.com/imaxmovies ).

The IMAX Corporation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6469

This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on management's assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Important factors that could affect these statements include, but are not limited to, general economic, market or business conditions, including the length and severity of the current economic downturn, the opportunities that may be presented to and pursued by the Company, the performance of IMAX DMR films, conditions in the in-home and out-of home entertainment industries, the signing of theatre system agreements, changes and developments in the commercial exhibition industry, the failure to convert theatre system backlog into revenue, new business initiatives, investments and operations in foreign jurisdictions, foreign currency fluctuations and the Company's prior restatements and the related litigation and investigation by the SEC and the ongoing inquiry by the OSC.  These factors and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

CONTACT: Entertainment Media:
         IMAX Corporation - Santa Monica
         Rebecca Klein
         310-255-5656
         rklein@imax.com
         
         Principal Communications
         Group - Los Angeles
         Melissa Zuckerman/Paul Pflug
         323-658-1555
         melissa@pcommgroup.com
         paul@pcommgroup.com
         
         Investors:
         IMAX Corporation - New York
         Heather Anthony
         212-821-0121
         hanthony@imax.com
         
         Business Media:
         IMAX Corporation - New York
         Ann Sommerlath
         212-821-0155
         asommerlath@imax.com
         
         Sloane & Company - New York
         Whit Clay
         212-446-1864
         wclay@sloanepr.com

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