Imax Corp. has announced that due to a corporate restructuring it will lay off 130 of its 1,000 employees. The restructuring comes as a result of several theater-chains' recent bankruptcies, which has lowered the demand for large screen films. The company will consolidate its sound and projection systems manufacturing at its facilities in Mississauga, Ontario and will scale down film production at its studio in Birmingham, Alabama. Imax will take a first quarter 2001 loss as a result of restructuring costs. This and other financial issues, including fourth quarter and year-end earnings, will be announced in mid-March during a conference call to investors and the press. In a statement, Imax co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler said, "These measures were necessary to improve Imax's operating results and in response to the financial difficulties in the commercial exhibition industry. While it's disheartening to lay off valued members of the Imax team, we believe that these measures will ultimately improve shareholder value and we remain optimistic about Imax's future."
With FANTASIA/2000, Imax looked to be the next great hope for animation, now Karl Cohen investigates why the immediate future looks shaky in Animation World Magazine.