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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Controversial Imax theatre closes
The Imax theatre on Bournemouth seafront (pic courtesy of freefoto.com)
The theatre caused controversy when it was built on the seafront
An Imax theatre that caused controversy when it was built because it blocked a popular seafront view is to close.

The giant 3D cinema, in Bournemouth, Dorset, opened in 2002 but problems meant it could only show normal films.

In 2003 it was closed four days a week out of season and was shut in March 2005 for a refit, but never reopened.

The landlord is now looking for a new operator to replace Sheridan, which ran Imax. New ideas for the building include a swimming pool or ice rink.

Others suggest turning it into a seafront casino.

The cinema theatre has been beset with problems from the start of its construction in 1998.

It opened nearly three years behind schedule and was accused of being an eyesore.

A sea view from Bath Hill in the town centre was partly obscured by the building angering many residents, many of whom still want it pulled down.

But Bournemouth Borough Council has said that to buy the leasehold from Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Superannuation Committee (Nilgos), would mean a council tax rise to residents of about five per cent.

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