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Judge Dismisses Iwerks Lawsuit

April 09, 1998|MARLA MATZER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

An antitrust suit filed by Iwerks Entertainment Inc. against giant-screen theater rival Imax Corp. has been dismissed by a federal judge in Los Angeles.

Burbank-based Iwerks alleged that Imax refused to rent its films to Iwerks theaters. Iwerks also alleged that Imax threatened to name potential Iwerks customers in a lawsuit against a film projector manufacturer working for Iwerks. The suit was filed two years ago.

Iwerks attorney Maxwell Blecher vowed to appeal the ruling.

He said that U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian, in the ruling filed Wednesday, made a "fundamental mistake in what antitrust law he applied and in his analysis of antitrust issues."

The ruling is the second recent setback for Iwerks. On March 31, the company's shareholders rejected its proposed $11.4-million purchase of Culver City-based Showscan Entertainment Inc., a producer of large-format films.

Imax is by far the industry leader in giant-screen theaters, with 75 screens in the U.S.; Iwerks, formed in 1993, has fewer than 10.

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