WORK has started bulldozing the twisted and charred remains of a once-grand cinema in Waterlooville.
The Curzon Rooms was destroyed last month when arsonists set light to the sprawling 1950s building in London Road in the early hours of the morning.
It was a much-loved cinema and then banqueting hall in its hey day, before being left to fall to rack and ruin over the past decade.
It was condemned by structural engineers at Havant Borough Council who gave permission for Wessex Demolition to move in and start pulling it down.
Pip Hoare, contracts manager at the firm, said: ‘We started work on Thursday and we’re going to demolish it to ground level.
‘It’s not a very nice place.
‘It was completely burnt out inside and the ceilings have collapsed because of all the water damage.
‘It’s been empty for a long time and there was all sorts of damage.
‘People have been in over the years and stolen all the non-ferrous metal, the brass, copper and lead.
‘The place has been stripped of everything of any value.
‘It’s actually quite precarious in some places so we’re not even entering the building, it’s too dangerous. We’re doing it from outside.’
The demolition is expected to take up to a month.
Over the years there have been various planning applications submitted to the council to turn it into flats and shops but none progressed.
The owners have now been given permission to turn it into a car park once the demolition work is complete.
Following the fire police arrested three teenagers on suspicion of arson.
The boys, all aged 16, were bailed to Waterlooville police station on November 29.