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Media Coverage

IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond's Empire

By The Wall Street Journal: Rachel Louise Ensign on September 20, 2013

His past might not sound like the making of a movie-industry giant, but Richard Gelfond is now the CEO of IMAX, a $1.7 billion empire with a presence in more than 700 theaters

Richard Gelfond Bloomberg/Getty Images

Shoeshine boy. A young sports-paper boss. And a 99-cent dry-cleaner owner. His past might not sound like the making of a movie-industry giant, but Richard Gelfond is now the CEO of IMAX, IMX.T -0.20% a $1.7 billion empire with a presence in more than 700 theaters—and part of the movie-going experience for millions of 3D-glasses-wearing film buffs. Now 58 and close with marquee Hollywood figures like director Christopher Nolan, he tells us he made it big because he "was always obsessed by business."

1. 1963: Launches a shoe-shining business at the age of 8 in a barbershop in his Long Island, N.Y., hometown, using his dad's shoeshine kit.

2. 1971: Co-founds New York Ball, a newspaper focused on local sports, as a teen. Publication boasts a circulation of 25,000. Uses the experience to land a job at Newsday in college.

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For 'The Wizard of Oz,' there's no place like IMAX

By USA Today: Claudia Puig on September 19, 2013

A first-rate conversion to a large-screen, 3-D format makes for a wonderfully vivid experience.

(Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

It's easier now than ever to surrender disbelief.

All these decades later, the ruby slippers sparkle with matchless dazzle, the winding brick road looks incomparably yellow and the Emerald City shines an ever-more-alluring green.

Childhood memories will only be enhanced by the vibrant restoration and sharply rendered conversion of The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience (* * * ½ out of four; rated PG; opening Friday nationwide).

Not only is it the oldest film ever to be converted to 3-D, it's also the most iconic. The blend of old-fashioned, classic storytelling with cutting-edge technology is undeniably enthralling.

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Toronto: IMAX Execs Tell Hollywood Not to Dictate Market in China

By The Hollywood Reporter: Etan Vlessing on September 09, 2013

"Make it a win-win situation. Don't be a colonialist going in, teaching people how to do things your way," company topper Richard Gelfond told a moguls panel at the festival.

Rich Gelfond IMAX

TORONTO -- It's no secret the major studios and China have had a rocky relationship in recent years.

Richard Gelfond thinks he knows why.

Foreign players can't dictate the market in China, the IMAX CEO told a moguls panel at the Toronto Film Festival on Monday.

Of course, that hasn't stopped Hollywood from trying.

"Make it a win-win situation. Don't be a colonialist going in, teaching people how to do things your way," Gelfond said.

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IMAX to Build Up to 120 New Theaters in China

By Wall Street Journal: Xiaoqing Pi on July 24, 2013

Deal With Dalian Wanda Follows Pact With South Korean Partner

BEIJING—IMAX Corp. IMX.T -0.15%is joining with China's largest cinema chain to build as many as 120 new theaters in the country, dwarfing a deal that the company announced with a Korean partner last week.

The Chinese deal is IMAX's latest to target Asian consumers' increasing demand for watching Hollywood blockbusters on bigger, more immersive screens.

Under the agreement, IMAX will add between 40 and 120 theaters. At most, it would bring to 381 the number of IMAX theaters open or planned in China, with Wanda Cinema Line Corp. running up to 210 of them.

Wanda will build 40 new theaters by 2017 and the rest by 2020, said Wanda General Manager Jerry Ye.

There were 126 IMAX theaters in operation in China at the end of June. Greater China accounted for 15% of IMAX's first-half revenue.

The Canada-based company said last week that it would add 30 IMAX screens in China and five in South Korea with Korean partner CJ CGV Co. 079160.SE +0.20%

If Wanda builds all 120 theaters, IMAX would generate as much revenue from China as the U.S., said IMAX Chief Executive Richard Gelfond.

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IMAX to Expand in Asia

By The Wall Street Journal: Jeyup S. Kwaak on July 15, 2013

SEOUL—IMAX Corp. and its South Korean partner plan to add 30 IMAX movie screens in China and five in South Korea.

The expansion, to be announced in coming days, is aimed at capitalizing on rising entertainment spending by the Chinese middle class and demand for the immersive high-resolution technology in Korea, IMAX Chief Executive Richard Gelfond said.

The project is a joint venture with the overseas business arm of South Korea's largest theater chain, CJ CGV Co.

The deal will bring the number of IMAX screens scheduled for construction in China to 140 and in South Korea to 10. There were 118 IMAX screens in operation in China and 12 in South Korea at the end of March.

"What IMAX is doing is following the audience around the world," Mr. Gelfond said.

China is the world's second-largest movie market by box-office revenue, behind the U.S., and the number of screens in China is expected to eclipse that of North America by 2020, according to Ernst & Young.

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