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Singapore gets its first IMAX theatre

Zafar Anjum | May 4, 2011
Shaw Theatres LIDO IMAX to open on 19 May to public; IMAX growing in popularity in Asia.

Shaw Lido

SINGAPORE, 4 MAY 2011 - Shaw Theatres becomes the first Singapore film exhibitor to add the IMAX movie experience to the cinematic landscape in Singapore.

Shaw theatres with IMAX's digital theatre system will open its doors to the public on 19 May with Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Shores.

The theatre reopens on 5 May with 10 regular halls at its Orchard Road venue after a seven-month and S$20 million "re-imagining".

"We wanted to bring the world's most immersive movie experience to Singapore and I have been in talks with IMAX officials for the last 15 years year," said Mark Shaw, executive vice president of operations, Shaw Theatres. "We have now an exclusive agreement with IMAX Corporation. I can assure you that there will be no other IMAX digital theatre in the Orchard Road area for the next ten years."

Shaw Theatres has been operating cinemas in Singapore since 1927. With the newly refurbished Lido complex, the company operates six theatre locations with 40 screens across the island.

Tickets for the IMAX 2D format movies are priced at S$20 and S$17 respectively for peak and off-peak hours. Tickets for IMAX 3D format movies are priced at S$22 and S$19 for peak and off-peak hours. The IMAX theatre has a seating capacity of 421 for 2D movies and 319 for 3D movies-as 3D movies need specific seating locations for the viewers to enjoy the screening (owning to IMAX's theatre geometry).

First in Singapore 

Headquartered in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, IMAX corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment and technology companies. As of December 31, 2010, there were 518 IMAX theatres operating in 46 countries.

"Our partnership with Shaw is the first for a digital theatre system in Singapore," said Preetam Daniel, director of sales, India and South East Asia, IMAX.

In this region, only Thailand has 6 IMAX theatres but only 4 of them are operational. There are no IMAX theaters in Malaysia. India has two commercial IMAX theatres-one in Mumbai and another in Hyderabad. "We have signed a 4 theatre deal with PVR cinemas in India," Daniel told Computerworld Singapore. PVR Cinemas is one of the biggest movie chains in India. "We have also signed a deal for building 2 IMAX theatres for Satyam cinemas."

In Asia, Daniel said he saw a huge growth opportunity in China. "China already has about 35 IMAX theatres," he told Computerworld Singapore. "On top of that, we are working on 70 new IMAX theatres in that country."

"The technology is becoming fast popular," explained Daniel, "because the rental cost for exhibiting an IMAX movie on digital system has become affordable. Earlier, theatre owners used to have to pay anything between US$30,000 to $40,000 for  screening a movie. Now the cost has come down to $175! It is that low."


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