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Future of Imax VR Uncertain After Company Closes Two Centers

August 15, 2018 / Janko Roettgers

Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Toronto: When Imax opened up virtual reality centers in a handful of cities around the world last year, the company painted it as a first step toward a possible massive global initiative. The iconic brand was looking for a chance to expand beyond cinemas and become a major player in the nascent market for location-based VR.One year later, the future of Imax VR looks a lot less certain. The company closed one of its two VR centers in New York at the end of June, and shut down its VR center in Shanghai in early July.Imax CEO Richard Gelfond first opened up about the company’s struggles to make VR work during the company’s Q1 2018 earnings call. “The consumer reaction was extremely positive, but the numbers just weren’t there,” he said. Gelfond said only one of the seven centers open at the time was meeting the company’s financial expectations.