IMAX Corp. has signed three separate deals with Russian firms to install large-format digital projection systems in three cities: Sochi, Nizinhy Novogorod and in Siberia's Novosibirsk. All three cinemas, the first of their kind in the nation, are expected to be installed between 2009 and 2011.

The Sochi facility will be operated by Luxor Cinemax, one of Russia's leading exhibitors while the cinema in Nizinhy Novogorod will be operated by Electronika, a consumer electronics retailer and developer. In Novosibirsk, the deal is with Art Science Cinema Distribution (ASCD), a leading exhibitor in Siberia. This will be the second IMAX cinema for ASCD.

'IMAX's new digital theatre system virtually eliminates the high cost of film prints, which increases programming flexibility,' said Lubov Sainova, general director of ASCD in a statement. 'With more programming options, we increase our ability to get people out of their homes and back into the theatre. Further, our classic IMAX documentary programming is ideally suited to the city's recent surge of science and education initiatives.'

There are currently three IMAX cinemas operating in Russia. With this deal, that number will increase to 10 by 2011.