Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 13:36 UK

Public vote on future of Bournemouth Imax revealed

The seafront Imax building in Bournemouth
The Imax theatre building has been mostly empty since 2005

A public consultation on future plans for a controversial building that blocks Bournemouth's seafront views has revealed what people want in its place.

The Waterfront building houses an Imax cinema which opened in 2002, but closed three years later.

Tropical gardens, a water park, an interactive arts, entertainment and museum complex, and a performing arts amphitheatre had the most public votes.

The council cabinet will consider the results on 28 April.

A final decision will be made on 23 June.

More than 3,500 people took part in the consultation which offered voters the choice of seven options, including parks, bistros and museums.

Seven shortlisted ideas
Water park
Interactive arts activity centre and museum
Tropical garden
A spa
Performing arts space and amphitheatre
Family play park
Boutiques and bistros

A council spokesperson said the results showed a mixture of attractions was most likely to appeal to people, with water park and performing arts, water park and tropical gardens or water park and interactive arts facility the "most popular combinations".

Councillor Stephen MacLoughlin, Leader of the Council, said: "We know how much people value the view, and have pledged that, whatever building we have on that site, the architecture will be sympathetic to its setting.

"Any developer will need to make sure sea views are improved."

The building was bought by the council in February from long-leaseholders Nilgosc for about £7m. Only three restaurants still operate inside.

The authority is currently seeking a compulsory purchase order to vacate some of the sub-tenants, and says demolition will not start until summer 2011 at the earliest.

The building was constructed in 1998, opening nearly three years behind schedule, before closing in 2005 after having problems showing 3D films.

Nilgosc has previously declined to comment on the purchase or why the building had not been redeveloped since 2005.

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