BIRMINGHAM, AL — Media systems integrator, MediaMerge, announced Monday, January 24, 2005, that it has entered into a multi-year agreement to provide technical support for the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater in Chattanooga, TN.
MediaMerge, in cooperation with the IMAX Corporation, will be responsible for providing preventative maintenance and technical support for the theater’s world-class sound and projection systems.
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.
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.
Don Walker, Director of Guest Services, met Jackson during his 10 years at the Tennessee Aquarium and cites his prior experience with Jackson as a key factor in the decision to work with MediaMerge. “Doug was a person that I felt very comfortable with. Knowing that he was part of a new company was a positive because we were building on a relationship that already existed,” notes Walker. “MediaMerge is offering a valuable service to this organization by providing us an opportunity to save money as well as providing high-quality service.”
MediaMerge passed a major milestone in October 2004, hiring its second SPP service technician, Matt Griffin, and the addition of the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater marks a significant accomplishment for the company. “Signing such a well-respected theater is always an exciting event for us,” says Jackson. “With attendance at the theater recently passing the five-million mark and with the completion of a new $30 million salt water addition opening in April of 2005, the Tennessee Aquarium is a high-profile client by any standard.”
The Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater is the second IMAX 3D GT projection system MediaMerge has contracted to maintain. With two certified SPP technicians and eight theaters signed to-date, MediaMerge has further strengthened its position as the largest third-party IMAX servicing agent in the world.
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, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.