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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 13:15 GMT
Last picture show at 3D cinema
A giant screen 3D cinema in Birmingham has closed its doors after it failed to attract large enough attendances.

The American owners of the city's IMAX cinema said Tuesday's closure had been caused by low audience figures.

Some 21 staff have lost their jobs as a result of the closure.

The giant screen at the city's Millennium Point complex was seen as indicative of the city's aspirations for the regeneration of Birmingham's Eastside as an area featuring cutting-edge entertainment and educational facilities.

Remain closed

But Cinegrand, the US company that bought the cinema 12-months ago, said that despite spending 600,000 on marketing and publicity last year they had failed to attract the 150,000 people they needed to the site.

Instead they had just 100,000 visitors, the same as the previous year.

The cinema boasts a special screen larger than five double decker buses.

It will remain closed until a new operator can be found, Millennium Point bosses said.

Criticism rejected

Cinegrand had indicated that the remoteness of the Millennium Point site had been one reason for the attraction's poor audience numbers.

But city leaders rejected this criticism.

Cllr Ian Ward from Birmingham City Council told BBC Radio WM: "I think what is needed there are other attractions so that the IMAX becomes part of a whole experience of a visit to Eastside.

"Those attractions are coming along and the operation of IMAX will then be on a very different footing."

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