THERE were plenty of smiles down at Pier Approach yesterday as the first stage of the Imax demolition got underway, mainly for the benefit of the media.

The work begins in earnest on Monday and should be completed by the end of March. In financial terms at least, there’s nothing to celebrate.

The £10m cost of getting rid of the waterfront building brings down the curtain on one of the most sorry episodes in the history of Bournemouth Borough Council.

Four, possibly five administrations, both Conservative and Liberal Democrat, have their fingerprints on this fiasco. The facts have been rehearsed many times and the point made that the Imax concept has become a huge success elsewhere.

But, as they say, we are where we are.

We can only hope that the new vision of a seafront events arena, potentially enjoyed by thousands, will be more successful than its predecessor.

And worth the cost.