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IMAX signs joint venture deal with Tokyu chain

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IMAX Corp and Tokyu Recreation, the owner of 109 Cinemas, one of Japan’s largest exhibition chains, on Thursday announced a joint venture agreement to install up to four IMAX theaters in Japan. The agreement marks IMAX’s second international joint venture deal, as the company aligns itself with top exhibitors worldwide with its new IMAX Digital theater system. To date, IMAX has signed contracts for more than 180 IMAX Digital theater systems, with approximately 50 expected to be installed by the end of 2008.

The announcement follows a record-setting movie event in Japan, where 25,000 people, the largest IMAX audience ever for a single screening, enjoyed the Japanese premiere of "Speed Racer: The IMAX Experience" on June 29 at Tokyo Dome. The venue was converted into a huge IMAX theater for the event.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, IMAX and Tokyu Recreation will share the cost and profitability of the new theaters. The first theater is scheduled to be installed at the 109 Cinemas Kawasaki in the city of Kawasaki in November of this year, followed by another in early 2009 at the 109 Cinemas in the city of Shobu. Each theater will be equipped with IMAX’s new digital projection system. The third and fourth systems are subject to mutual agreement on sites, projected rates of return and certain other factors.

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Too bad the imax in japan won't arrive in time for the new batman movie.

Thanks Japan, as usual, a day late and a dollar short.

Anyone else want to fly to Hawaii with me to catch The Dark Knight on the big IMAX screen?

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Where is Shobu city?

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deadhippo,

Shobu is in Saitama

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So there are no IMAX cinemas in Japan at the moment at all??

@dijapan they have IMAX in Seoul, quicker to fly there than Hawaii I guess

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Way to IMAX theaters/Tokyu Recreation.

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There used to be an IMAX at Takashimaya in Shinjuku when it first opened on the Southern Terrace. At that time they only showed the documentaries and apparently didn't even considered Hollywood motion pictures and the like. I think the IMAX theaters in the U.S. started using their theaters more for Hollywood pics in the last three years or so. They even started selling concessions fairly recently.

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IMAX has been doing feature movies since Star Wars Episode One came out. However, not many movies came out until they figured out how to fit more than 2hrs on a reel. (The IMAX Ep I had to be seriously trimmed to fit under the limit.)

At any rate, the economics of IMAX documentaries is much better than feature films. Cheaper to make, much shorter (more daily screenings), and the venues that play them are usually museums. Tickets are sold as part of admission packages. Which is why not nearly as many IMAXs play the feature films.

I saw the last Super Man movie (with certain scenes in 3D) in the local IMAX. Not bad, but I don't know if extra screen size really warranted the extra ticket cost. The latest Dark Knight movie also had an IMAX release. A number of action scenes were actually filmed in 70mm IMAX cameras, instead of the converted 35mm process other IMAX feature films have done.

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