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Major Betting Cinemas Back with 2 Big Deals for Big-Screen Bangkok Theaters

L-R: Vichaya Poolvaraluk, Vice President, Major Group Cineplex / Khun Vicha Poolvaraluck, Chairman & CEO, Major Group Cineplex / JongRyul Kim, CEO, CJ 4DPLEX / Don Savant, Chief Business Officer, CJ 4DPLEX Korea.
L-R: Vichaya Poolvaraluk, Vice President, Major Group Cineplex / Khun Vicha Poolvaraluck, Chairman & CEO, Major Group Cineplex / JongRyul Kim, CEO, CJ 4DPLEX / Don Savant, Chief Business Officer, CJ 4DPLEX Korea.

After two years of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Major Cineplex is betting that movie cinemas are back, with two major deals for supersized-screen theaters.

Major, Thailand’s biggest cinema chain, struck two deals this week with Imax and South Korea’s CJ 4DPlex for new and upgrades theaters in Bangkok.

Under the first agreement, Major Cineplex will open three “Imax with Laser” theaters in Bangkok, expanding the number of super-size screens in the capital to seven.

Two of the three installations are upgrades: One is at relatively new Icon Cineconic at Iconsiam. The upgrade will be fitted before the venue is used for the CineAsia exhibition and distribution industry convention in December.

The other upgrade is at Siam Paragon, where Major’s Paragon Cineplex is currently one of the largest and most-visited multiplexes in the country.

Also set for Siam Paragon is a ScreenX Premium Large Format auditorium using technology form CJ 4DPlex.

ScreenX is a multi-projection cinema with an immersive 270-degree field of view, created by using the side walls of the theater. Some 363 ScreenX auditoriums have been installed at cinemas in 38 countries.

The new ScreenX Premium Large Format auditorium in Bangkok will have 336 seats and a 20-meter-wide screen, the largest ScreenX in the country.

The third Imax screen is a new build at the Mega Cineplex, an existing multiplex at the huge Mega Bang Na retail and entertainment complex in eastern Bangkok.

Imax With Laser combines a 4K laser projection system with a new optical engine, custom designed lenses and proprietary technology that delivers brighter images, increased resolution, deeper contrast, and an expanded range of colors. It also includes improved audio.

“I look forward to experiencing the latest blockbuster films in one of the most immersive, high-quality theater systems around. With the continuous evolution of Thailand’s film market, the premium movie experience represented by Imax has become a driving force to attract audiences back to the box office and support the industry’s post-pandemic recovery,” said Major Cineplex CEO Vicha Poolvaraluck in a prepared statement.

“We first brought the 4DX concept to Thailand over a decade ago and are following that success by expanding the ScreenX experience,” said JongRyul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX.

4DX is a multi-sensory cinema experience that includes moving seats, water and air effects. Both technologies are developed by CJ 4DPlex, a company within the CJ Group of companies and a sister company to CJ-CGV, which claims to be the world’s fifth largest cinema operator and has outposts in Vietnam, Indonesia and Turkey.

Major Cineplex now has ten 4DX locations across Thailand in Siam Paragon, Ratchayothin, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Central Westgate, Promenade, Central Festival Eastville, Korat, Mega Bangna and Icon Siam.

Major has more than 177 locations with 828 screens in Thailand and abroad. The company’s first ScreenX was launched in 2015 at the Major’s Quartier Cineart location.

Imax, with headquarters in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, counted 1,683 Imax theater systems in operation in 87 countries and territories, as of December 2021.

“From our increasing number of screens to growing box office returns, Thailand is an emerging market for Imax and this agreement marks a big step forward in capturing the opportunity at hand,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax.