BIRMINGHAM, AL — Media systems integrator, MediaMerge, announced Friday, October 22, 2004, that it has entered into a multi-year agreement to provide technical support for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum IMAX Theater in Austin, Texas.
MediaMerge, in cooperation with the IMAX Corporation, will be responsible for providing preventative maintenance and technical support for the theaters’ world-class sound and projection systems.
“We are very excited that MediaMerge will be providing service and expertise in the operation of our theatre,” remarks Jim Walker, who has served as Director of Theaters for the Texas State History Museum for the last four years. Walker was largely responsible for the decision to enlist MediaMerge as the theater’s third-party service provider. “I know that MediaMerge will be a great asset in the continuing operation of our theatre.”
Under the agreements MediaMerge provides a technician to meet the requirements of the IMAX Service Partnership Program. In this arrangement each theater operates as usual, and MediaMerge provides 24-hour phone support, preventative maintenance, and emergency service visits. The theaters still have service agreements directly with IMAX, while MediaMerge provides the labor at a significant savings. IMAX provides all replacement parts, phone support, and limited on-site service.
The Service Partnership Program was launched by IMAX in 2001 as an effort to offer a cost-saving alternative to theaters interested in lowering their annual service fees. In exchange for assuming more responsibility in maintaining their IMAX system, eligible theaters recognize a reduction in their annual IMAX maintenance fees.
MediaMerge also announced Friday that it has hired a new technician, Matt Griffin, to service its growing base of theater clients. Griffin formerly worked for the IMAX Corporation as a technician servicing theaters in North America and recently joined the MediaMerge team. “These events mark major milestones in our progress,” states Jackson, “the addition of our seventh theater as well as our second SPP technician is really a substantial achievement.” The Texas State History Museum IMAX Theater moves MediaMerge into the IMAX GT 3D service market and further expands the range of services available from MediaMerge to theaters participating in the SPP.
MediaMerge, Inc. was founded in February 2001, by Tim Ogletree and Ken McKibben to provide design, installation, service, and support for audio, video, control, acoustics, and theatrical lighting systems. The two met while working at Birmingham-based Sonics Associates where Ogletree worked as a system designer, and McKibben worked as a Service Technician for North America.
The company’s customer-base consists primarily of houses of worship and other facilities utilizing media systems to deliver high-impact audio and visual presentations. Since its inception, MediaMerge has been growing at a steady pace and currently has a client-list that includes churches in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
In late 2002 Doug Jackson, formerly a Regional Manager for IMAX Technical Services, joined the MediaMerge team and formed the MediaMerge Technical Services Group to provide service and support to the existing client-base. Recognizing the unique opportunity afforded by the IMAX Service Partnership Program, Jackson moved quickly to include the IMAX program as part of the company’s service offering.
MediaMerge expanded into the IMAX market in May of 2003, signing agreements to provide service to the IMAX Theaters at the Gulf Coast Exploreum in Mobile, Alabama, and the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida. In July 2003 MediaMerge picked up the St. Louis Science Center Omnimax in St. Louis, Missouri. The Desert IMAX Theater in Cathedral City, California, and the TI Founders IMAX Theater in Dallas, Texas, signed in December 2003, and the Tuttleman IMAX Theater in Philadelphia, PA, signed in March.
The Texas State History Museum IMAX Theater is the first IMAX GT 3D projection system MediaMerge has contracted to maintain. With two certified SPP technicians and seven theaters signed to-date, MediaMerge is the largest third-party IMAX servicing agent in the world.