ABC Sidcup

77a Sidcup High Street,
Sidcup, DA14 6DW

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, Odeon Theatres Ltd., Union Cinema Co. Ltd.

Architects: Robert Cromie, F.T.W. Goldsmith

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: King's Hall, King's Hall Picture Playhouse, Regal Cinema, Cannon

Nearby Theaters

ABC Sidcup

Located in Sidcup, today a south-eastern district of Greater London. The King’s Hall was originally built prior to 1909 as a concert hall. It was converted into a cinema in 1914 named King’s Hall Picture Playhouse. It was enlarged and given an Art Deco style design in 1932 by noted architect Robert Cromie. It re-opened as the Regal Cinema on 31st October 1932.

Taken over by the Union Cinemas chain in 1935, they were taken over by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in October 1937.

It was re-named ABC in August 1963. Closed at the end of October 1965 for modernisation, it re-opened on 18th December 1965 with a Gala Civic Re-opening with “Sands of the Kalahari”. The ABC was closed in 1977 for twinning and reopened on 1st December 1977 with 516 seats in the former stalls and 303 seats in the former circle.

It was re-named Cannon in the mid-1980’s when the Cannon Group took over ABC. In the late-1990’s a management buy-out took over and it was re-named ABC again. In 2000 it was taken over by Odeon Theatres Ltd., and they closed the ABC on 16th August 2000. The final films were Nicolas Cage in "Gone in 60 Seconds" in the downstairs screen and George Clooney in "The Perfect Storm" in the upstairs screen.

In 2001, the building was sold, and there were proposals to convert to a nightclub. These never materialised, and by the end of 2001, there had been two fires in the building, numerous break-ins and an illegal ‘rave’ party had taken place. By the summer of 2002, there were plans proposed to retain the façade, and build flats on the site of the auditorium. The building was demolished in February 2003, and in 2009, an Independent Mortgage Broker operates from the ground floor of the foyer, with the upper floor converted into flats.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Mike_Blakemore on September 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Correction. Odeon Theatres Did not take over ABC… ABC took over Odeon… ABC renamed the theatres Odeon as it was the brand leader name..

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 10:58 am

Have loaded Stage view..

ODEONesque on July 25, 2013 at 3:48 am

Nice pics Ken, what became of the organ, any idea?

Buffer on January 13, 2014 at 6:45 am

The original architect was FTW Goldsmith. I have a laminated ticket giving a discount in the nearby McDonalds

Liquid on October 19, 2015 at 7:12 am

Ken sorry to disagree with your comments, but the cinema didn’t close on September 17th 1977 for refurbishment as I went to see The Spy Who Loved Me on that date. I’m only correcting you as your facts are always correct. Keep up the good work

davidcoppock on September 24, 2020 at 8:42 am

Was the facade retained?

CF100 on May 16, 2022 at 1:09 pm

davidcoppock: The main façade was not retained. Ground floor is now retail with 2 floors of apartments above that have windows facing onto the High Street.

To be fair, particularly upon closure, the main façade wasn’t much to look at. However, its replacement is remarkable for its complete absence of elegance.

Having a quick look at the rest, it seems the auditorium block was demolished, but the building that was between the vestibule and the auditorium seems to have been repurposed, albeit with extensive alterations.

Parts of its original frontage can be seen from the High Street, behind the single storey building that is to the left of where the cinema’s main entrance was.

Mike_Blakemore on May 17, 2022 at 1:39 am

to Odeon Esque The organ was a temporary one ABC had for such openings

John Griffiths
John Griffiths on November 21, 2022 at 1:32 pm

I have a soft spot for this cinema as it was my first managerial post in 1985. The building had tremendous character with parts of its long architectural past still intact, from the 1900s, 30s and recent 70s conversion to a twin. The old stage, fly tower and dressing rooms lay unused behind the huge curved tabs which hid the old house tabs and hand winch, which no one took the risk to turn!

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