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VIDEO: 200 Imax seats given to Shelley Theatre
BARELY used. Just one former owner. Free to a good home.
Two hundred seats from Bournemouth’s former IMAX cinema have been saved for future generations of theatre-goers.
The relics from what was once voted England’s most hated building have ended up at the Shelley Theatre on Boscombe Manor.
They were unveiled on Saturday during an open day at the historic building, which is currently being restored to its former glory.
Theatre director Patrick Keats said: “We are very grateful to the council for giving us the IMAX seats.
“They have hardly been used and just needed a good clean.
“It has saved us a lot of money and helped to get our restoration project moving.
“We expect the scheme to take around five years and cost about £2million. The architect’s drawings have been completed and the timescale will depend on funding.”
Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood and his four-year-old son Alex were among those helping to rebuild the IMAX chairs.
He said: “I’ve been involved with the project since the beginning; it has tremendous potential for the local community and I’ve recently set up a meeting with the directors and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“We are trying to encourage film and media students to stay in Bournemouth by setting up digital incubator units upstairs; the digital economy is very important to the local economy.”
Cllr Chris Wakefield, a member of Bournemouth council’s IMAX project board, said: “We felt we should be making a contribution to the Shelley Theatre restoration scheme and hope others will now follow suit.
“It is great that the former cinema seats, which are as good as new, will now be put to good use for theatre audiences.”