Going to the movies isn’t a cheap date anymore, especially if you want to go big and head to an IMAX theater. Thankfully, Imax Corp. is offering a new solution to the stress of going out to the cinema: build one in your own damn home.
The company launched its Imax Private Theater wing last summer in China and the Middle East, and it’s due to expand into North America soon. Of course, the target audience are those with assets totally over $5 million, with the “Palais” sized system, which fits about 18 viewers, going for $400,000, and the 40-guest “Platinum” setup marked at about $1 million. (There are also plans for a 9-person “Prestige” level costing about $200,000.)
However, that’s only for the actual theater build and projection equipment itself; in order to play actual IMAX films, you’ll need a fingerprint secured set-top box costing $10,000, to which you can stream first-run rentals via Imax Home Premier for additional fees.
Unfortunately for North America and Europe’s wealthiest, the Imax Home Premiere service won’t be available in their regions. Theaters aren’t willing to negotiate on their exclusivity period for new movies, which is understandable considering the rise of streaming services. Still, US customers can carve out the 807-square-foot Palais theater and spring for the $35,000-a-year Prima Cinema set-top, which allows you to rent brand new Hollywood movies for just $500 a screening. It won’t be in IMAX format, sure, but you’ll be able to pause the movie when you want to go refill that popcorn from what we assume is your personal concession stand.
According to Bloomberg, the company is looking to sell to the “ultra-high-net-worth individuals” whose privacy is a valuable commodity due to their increased public visibility. Well, them, and the ridiculously, opulently rich; after all, why do you think they started off in China and the Middle East? Either way, it’s actually a sound business venture, as the home theaters do little to tarnish the IMAX brand, and their high cost and exclusivity means there won’t be a major encroachment on the theater-going market.