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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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IMAX’s CEO on How It Became a Hollywood Powerhouse

by Richard Gelfond

Richard Gelfond is the CEO of IMAX.

The Idea

The company experimented with business models to grow from its modest roots in nature documentaries into a major player in multiplexes around the world.

When I came to IMAX, in 1994, I had been an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and an investment banker. I didn’t know much about the movie business, but I recognized that the moviegoing experience IMAX offered had great potential if we could find the right way to grow.

A partner and I had acquired the company through a leveraged buyout, and we took it public a few months later. On paper the transaction was a success, and the company’s market cap grew rapidly. But at the time, most IMAX ...

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