Dorset

Bournemouth's 'hated' Imax cinema building demolished

Imax demolition in progress
Image caption The site has seen 3,000 tonnes of steel and 8,000 tonnes of concrete removed

The final wall of a structure voted one of the UK's most hated buildings in 2005 has been demolished.

The four-storey concrete and glass Imax cinema building in Bournemouth was criticised for blocking out sea views.

It was opened in 2002, nearly three years behind schedule, but closed three years later.

Work continues to remove the remaining rubble and steel girders from the site, which is expected to open as a new outdoor events space in the summer.

'Truly wonderful'

As the last section of the building's final wall came down, John and Jean Fellows, who live nearby, told BBC News they were happy their sea views had been restored.

"We can see the whole seafront and across the Purbecks from our 6th floor flat without the view being obscured now - truly wonderful," Mrs Fellows said.

Image caption A new outdoor events and entertainment space is expected to open in the summer

Mr Fellows added: "It was a monstrosity and should never have been built in the first place. A total waste of money."

Theresa Wright, 41, who lives in Poole and works in Bournemouth, said: "I think there's been a lot of hype about it really.

"I don't think the building was as bad as everyone made out. I thought, as a structure, it looked okay but, admittedly, it was perhaps in the wrong setting."

In 2010, the council bought the leasehold for the site and wanted to lower the building's height to reclaim views, but received "no suitable bids" from developers.

Instead, the authority decided to build a new seafront entertainment space on the site and The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Pavilion Dance have already expressed an interest in staging performances there.

Preparation work to dismantle the structure, voted one of the UK's most hated buildings in 2005 on the Channel 4 programme Demolition, began in October.

The demolition has involved the removal of 3,000 tonnes of steel and 8,000 tonnes of concrete.

The council said the demolition team would remain on site to clear the remaining debris.

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