Plans to turn the former Scala cinema into an all-night music and dance venue have angered King's Cross residents.

Primatarium, which owns the head lease, has applied to Camden council to reopen the cinema, shut in January last year, for music and dancing with an all-night licence to 6am five nights a week and 9am at weekends.

The company says it has been seeking a tenant for 18 months and this is the best use for what has always been an entertainment venue. The club is intended to reflect the area's cosmopolitan nature, and attract tourists once the Channel tunnel terminal has opened.

The venue would have different music each night, live acts, a bar and restaurant. The screen will be kept. Organiser Noel McNamee adds: 'It is absolutely, categorically, not a rave.'

Tony Rees, chair of the South Caledonian Community Association, said: 'It's the noise of people coming and going all through the night that worries us. There is already lack of parking and there would not be much in the way of public transport as the Underground would have closed by then.'

Residents fear the move might attract more drug dealers. Police do not object, saying it will mean fewer people hanging about waiting for transport late at night.

Camden council's planning committee is unlikely to consider the application before January.