Sidcup is set to get a cinema 18 years after the ABC pictures closed down.

Bexley Council is working with Arthouse on plans for a small three-screen cinema, ironically, where Blockbuster was in Sidcup High Street.

Councillor Linda Bailey, Bexley’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “If it’s approved, the scheme will revive the site, bring more people into the town, support existing businesses and help attract complementary activities to improve the high street.

“The growth of online shopping and expansion of major centres like Bluewater means the traditional role of high streets is changing. The scheme is another element in our plan to ensure the town prospers in the future.”

The Blockbuster store was bought last year, after years of remaining empty.

The ABC Cinema elsewhere in the high street was knocked down in February 2003.

The council said that as well as the cinema, the town’s library could also be moved to the same “prime location”, increasing its usage.

Councillor June Slaughter, ward councillor for Sidcup, said there were worries about moving the busy library.

Cllr Slaughter said: “I am hugely in favour of the cinema and what it will bring for Sidcup – but there are concerns about moving the library.

“Residents remember when the library opened 40 years ago, and it is already in a perfect location. It has fantastic facilities and is well used – it is the second busiest in the borough.

“People are really concerned about the move and what that might mean.”

Cllr Peter Craske, who lives in Sidcup, said however: ““The relocated library will continue to provide the wide range of existing programmes and events alongside its core services, including its book selection, PCs and meeting rooms.

“Co-location with the cinema will also provide the opportunity to explore a variety of new collaborative cultural opportunities and programmes.”

If the library moves to the site of the new cinema, the empty site would probably be used for houses, according to the council.

Sidcup is earmarked for regeneration by the council, which said it will try and capitalise on the area’s performing arts and student population by regenerating the high street.

Clarie Middleton, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance’s principal, added: “The cinema is a welcome addition for current and prospective students and will further enhance Sidcup’s reputation as a creative and cultural hub where people choose to live and study.”

Both proposals will need planning permission, and will undergo a public consultation before any work starts.