With the formal closing of the deal, Canada’s dominant exhibition chain picks up 126 screens –all in the greater Toronto area except for 22 in West Montreal. Cineplex will close the four former-AMC venues today for some reworking and re-open them tomorrow afternoon. Cineplex says it will “invest in each of these locations” — with “one or more” possibly getting an UltraAVX large screen auditorium, VIP Cinemas (which offer high-end concessions), or its XSCAPE Entertainment Centre. By the end of September they’ll be 100% digital as Cineplex replaces the remaining 35mm projectors with Christie digital DLP Cinema projectors. The chain adds that existing IMAX theatres will remain in operation, although RealD 3D systems “may also be added to these locations.” In addition to the four theaters that Cineplex picked up, AMC sold two Canadian venues to Empire Theaters. AMC, eager to raise cash, had been looking for months to sell its Canadian theaters. In May, China’s Wanda Group agreed to a $2.6B deal to acquire the U.S.’s No. 2 exhibition chain.
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