Bournemouth demolishes 'hated' building

Bournemouth waterfront events space
Image caption The site will open next summer for theatre and arts performances

Residents in Bournemouth who have wanted to see a cinema building disappear for more than a decade are about to get their wish.

On 29 September a virtual demolition will be projected onto the facade of the town's Imax theatre.

The actual demolition of the building, on the town's seafront starts next month.

The cinema which opened in 2002 was once voted one of the UK's most hated buildings.

John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "It will be a memorable moment that many local people, who have repeatedly told us how much they hate the building, will want to see."

The event, which will include lighting, animation, music and sound effects, is part of the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival.

'Badly designed'

Evan Grant, founder of Seeper, the company behind the 3D installation, remembers the construction of the building when he studied in Bournemouth.

He said: "As I approached the pier there was a beautiful vista looking over the beach across the water to Old Harry Rocks. Within the blink of an eye this view was replaced by a rectangular block of concrete.

"To my dismay the block wasn't even open, and across its life it never really was. It's such an amazing peace of real estate and such a badly designed and planned structure.

"Architecture should be sympathetic to its surroundings and usage. Why on Earth does a 3D cinema, an ugly one at that, need to be on the seafront?"

Image caption In 2005 the structure was voted one of the UK's most hated buildings

The Waterfront complex building was constructed in 1998.

The Imax cinema inside opened nearly three years behind schedule and then closed in 2005 after having problems showing 3D films.

At the height of its infamy in 2005 the structure was voted one of the UK's most hated buildings in the Channel 4 programme Demolition.

Bournemouth Borough Council granted planning permission for its construction in 1997. The hung council voted 35-7 in favour of the project.

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

So instead, the local authority has decided to build a new seafront entertainment space on the site.

The facility has been granted planning approval and will be open next summer for theatre and arts performances, music and dance, sports and community events.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Pavilion Dance have both already expressed an interest in staging performances there.

Members of the public wishing to witness the virtual demolition can gather at Pier Approach at 21:15 BST on Saturday 29 September or watch the display streamed on the council's website.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites