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Force closes Auckland Imax cinema

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 11th April 2002

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Cinema operator Force Corp (NZSE: FOR) has closed its Imax cinema business in Auckland, describing it as commercially unviable.

Force, which is majority owned by Sky City (NZSE: SKC), says the decision to close the operation comes after an extensive review by subsidiary Cine-Force.

"Cine-Force determined that it is not able to restructure the business to produce an acceptable commercial return for the Force group," the company reports.

"The closure will not have an adverse effect on Force Corporation's overall business."

Force says the other operations in the Force Entertainment Centre are not affected and it is investigating opportunities for alternative use of the Imax cinema space, including the potential to convert it into a theatre facility for large events.

Other businesses in the centre include 12 Village Force Hoyts cinemas, the Planet Hollywood restaurant, 12 bars and restaurants, and 11 retail outlets.

Force company secretary, Peter Holdaway, says the Imax cinema has struggled to meet its financial objectives and the closure, while unfortunate, is in the interests of the group.

The company says any customers with outstanding pre-paid tickets to Imax can exchange them for other movies at the centre.

Imax technology premiered at Expo '70 in Japan and the first permanent projection system was installed in Toronto in 1971. There are more than 200 Imax cinemas operating in around 30 countries worldwide.

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