Crews started work today on the future Los Angeles headquarters of large-screen entertainment provider IMAX Corp.
The company is expanding its West Coast operations to a new Playa Vista office building scheduled for completion in 2015. It will house 120 employees now working out of IMAX's Santa Monica facility, while also making room for more staff, executives said.
The three-story building at Westlawn Avenue and Millennium Drive designed by the Gensler architecture firm will include 66,000 square feet of office space, post-production labs, screening rooms, conference space, an interior amphitheater and a courtyard for events.
IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond said the move reflects the company's growing partnerships with "studios and filmmakers in Hollywood and around the world."
The company benefited from the "evolution from film to digital, which has enabled us to be in 57 countries, do roughly 35-40 movies a year" and open digital re-mastering facilities in Toronto and Los Angeles, he said.
IMAX will join other technology, internet and entertainment companies with offices in and around the Playa Vista area, including YouTube, Facebook, Electronic Arts and Sony.
The new facility will also be near the Hercules Studio film stage where the movies Avatar and Iron Man 3 were made.
"Playa Vista is an area that shares our spirit of innovation," IMAX Senior Executive Vice President Greg Foster said. "We are excited to be a part of this emerging high-tech hot spot and dynamic business community."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who took part in the ground breaking ceremony, welcomed IMAX's move to Los Angeles and the jobs it could bring.
"IMAX is known for big things -- such as their big cameras and screens - - and I wish them big success here in the entertainment and creative capital of the world," he said.
IMAX's new facility will be part of a commercial campus developed by Lincoln Property Company. The real estate firm is also building Runway, a $260 million retail, office and residential complex in Playa Vista.
--City News Service