The IMAX logo
The IMAX Corporation is a Canadian theatre company which designs and manufactures IMAX cameras and projection systems as well as performing film development, production, post production and distribution to IMAX affiliated theatres worldwide. Founded in 1968, it has operations in Toronto, as well as New York City and Los Angeles.
As of June 2016, the IMAX theater network consisted of 1,102 theatres in 69 countries. These include IMAX variations such as IMAX 3D, IMAX Dome, and Digital IMAX.
IMAX is a Canadian corporation that is based in Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario. The Company was officially founded in 1967 when three filmmakers, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr incorporated IMAX Corporation. The idea and the new technology, which resulted in the birth of the company, came from the work that Ferguson, Kroitor and Kerr had done producing the multi-screen National Film Board of Canada production In the Labyrinth and Ferguson's Man and the Polar Regions for Expo 67. From their experience, Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr realized that new technology would be necessary to develop a larger and more complex project than previously seen. As a result, they sought an engineer named William Shaw in 1968 (he had gone to Galt Collegiate Institute in Galt, Ontario, now Cambridge, with Ferguson and Kerr) to help develop this technology. Shaw created this new projector that allowed for films to have exceptionable quality and to be ten times larger than conventional 35mm picture frames. The first movie IMAX Corporation produced using this new technology was Tiger Child which was featured at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. It was because of the multi-screen viewing that Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr wanted to create a theatre with giant screens, surround sound and stadium seating.
William Shaw was instrumental in helping IMAX Corporation fulfill its ambitions in creating larger and more realistic experiences for audience which included oversized screens, surround sound and steep seating for better viewing. Shaw remained at IMAX (although officially retired) as a designer and inventor until his passing on August 31, 2002 at the age of 73. Before retiring Shaw created a 3D camera which was sent to the International Space Station for IMAX films. Another engineer at IMAX Corporation Brian Bonnick, Chief Technology Officer at IMAX Corporation, developed technologies that made it possible for the worldwide IMAX to produce major Hollywood films. It was a critical point when IMAX Corporation sought to expand in 1994 by publicly listing IMAX on the NASDAQ stock exchange, and it became apparent then the future of the company rest in their ability to attract Hollywood production houses. To do this required flexible technology able to adapt quickly in various locations. Bonnick and his group created IMAX DMR (Digital Re-Mastering), which allowed for these requirements and paved the way for the large Hollywood blockbuster movies that would soon result. IMAX Corporation has gone on to expand with various new technologies including The IMAX Experience and the IMAX MPX theatre system and have also revamped IMAX 2D footage into IMAX 3D. The success of IMAX has made it possible for IMAX Corporation to sign deals with countries around the world. In 2009 IMAX Corporation signed a deal with China building the first ever IMAX theatre in Tianjin, China. The theatre was set to open in 2012. In March 2011 IMAX noted that China's Wanda Cinema Line announced a 75-theatre deal with IMAX Corporation. This was one of the largest international deals to the date of 2011 for IMAX and one of the second largest in Company History. While IMAX Corporation has expanded profoundly throughout the decades, it still sees itself as a leader in:
The Company motto is "IMAX IS BELIEVING", highlighting the original founder's philosophies of creating a real life like experience for the audience.
In 2011 IMAX, Discovery Communications and Sony announced to launch a 3D television channel; the companies later announced the upcoming channel would be named "3DNet". In August 2014 3DNet closed down due to low ratings.
On October 8, 2015, IMAX China, a subsidiary of the company, was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
In November 2016, Marvel Television and IMAX announced the live action television series, Marvel's Inhumans, based on the superhero race of the same name. The series, co-produced with ABC Studios, saw IMAX serve as a financing partner, a first for IMAX, which allowed Marvel to spend more on the series than it had on its other television series, especially for visual effects. The entire series was filmed with IMAX digital cameras. Inhumans debuted an edited specific for theatrical-release version of the first two episodes. The episodes debuted on IMAX screens in theaters worldwide in September 2017, with the series airing weekly on ABC afterwards. After the poor reception to the IMAX version of the first two episodes and a box office gross of $3.5 million, Richard Gelfond said, "Going forward, we intend to take a more conservative approach consistent with the Game of Thrones approach to capital investments and content. We will be more conservative when considering whether to invest our own capital; and if so, to what extent."