Canada's IMAX Corporation has announced the development of tens of new screens across the region as more and more cinema-goers choose the unparalleled experience.
In Egypt it has become customary to rush to the 6th of October to catch the latest blockbuster film at the IMAX. Since there is only one IMAX theatre, many line up hours ahead of a showing in hopes of getting a seat. Recognising that the Middle East is one of the best performing markets, Canada’s IMAX Corporation has announced plans to double the number of giant screens in the region.
Using special film and projected on screens twice as wide, IMAX currently has eight theatres in the Middle East. “By 2017 we expect to have about 30 theatres in the region,” Richard Gelfond, the chief executive of the IMAX Corporation, tells Al Arabiya News. IMAX is eyeing developing markets in Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Abu Dhabi. Surprisingly, Abu Dhabi is yet to open their first IMAX although Gelfond indicates that a contract has been reached that will see the inauguration of their first IMAX.
At a summit earlier this week in Abu Dhabi, Gelfond stated “As the wealth increases in the region, the demand for the highest-quality experiences increases. IMAX is what I call an affordable luxury. It’s not like buying a Ferrari or Louis Vuitton. For an extra 35 to 40 percent of the ticket price you can experience the ultimate entertainment in the world.”
IMAX continues to grow exponentially in the region, and as it reaches new heights, new opportunities seem to be on the horizon. As it stands it will still be awhile before we see Arab films being released in the IMAX format. “The network isn’t big enough yet here to support Arabic film. But in the next several years, if we grow as we expect, I think it could be,” explains Gelfond. As always when the market continues to grow and make new demands, corporations often recognise that fulfilling these demands lead to massive profits which is the only reason corporations exist. Once the infrastructure exists and if the market continues to support IMAX, then one can assume that Arab films will find their way onto their mammoth screen in the foreseeable future.