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Imax to Open 15 Theaters in China With Partner CJ CGV

Imax Corp., the developer of technology for projecting movies onto giant screens, agreed to open 15 cinemas in China in its biggest deal to expand in Asia.

Imax will partner with South Korea’s CJ CGV Co., which operates five of its theater systems locally, the Mississauga, Ontario-based company said today in a statement. The Asian partner will install the first two theaters next year with the remaining 13 scheduled to be completed between 2012 and 2015, the company said, without identifying locations.

Today’s announcement brings to 96 the total number of Imax systems scheduled for Greater China, the company’s second-largest market, according to the statement. In July the company signed agreements to install its technology in at least 10 additional locations in Russia as the growth of middle-class populations in emerging markets boosts spending.

Imax rose 5.5 percent to close at $15.96 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading today. The shares have gained 20 percent this year.

Imax in July agreed with Guangzhou Jinyi Film & Television Group co. to open eight theaters in China, and signed a deal for three cinemas with Kazakhstan’s Kinopark earlier this month. On Sept. 17, Imax announced a joint venture with Rave Motion Pictures for 13 theater installations in the U.S.

The Canadian company signed agreements to install its technology in 168 theaters worldwide so far this year, compared with 35 cinemas in 2009, according to the statement.

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