Now under new management
The Daffodil began life as Cheltenham’s first purpose built picture palace, opening its doors to the public on the 5th October 1922 with a continuous showing of the Hollywood silent movie Thunderclap starring Mary Carr.
With its contemporary Art Deco style and exuberant individuality The Daffodil was an instant success and despite its impressive 750 seat capacity screenings had to be increased from one showing per week to twice-daily to cope with visitor demand. The salubrious surroundings included a lounge area in the upper circle where visitors could relax before the main feature, perfume vending spritzers in the ladies powder room, and the country’s first ‘kissing seats’. These ingenious double seats, situated on the end of each isle, were specifically designed for courting couples and could be reserved in advance which needless to say proved extremely popular!
An extensive renovation followed during which many original features and fittings were restored and reinstated including the original projectionist machinery (now displayed in the upper circle) and a pair of “kissing seats” which now occupy pride of place in the Terrazzo mosaic foyer.
The Daffodil proudly re-opened its doors as one of Britain’s most unique and dramatic dining rooms on 14th February 1998 amid a flurry of excitement, red carpet and intense local interest.
Today the building is a civic award winning iconic Cheltenham Landmark as well as one of country’s finest surviving examples of original Art Deco cinema design. Mark and his business partner James McAlpine continue to restore and invest in this unique and beautiful building to ensure that The Daffodil remains as vibrant and stylish as when it opened nearly a century ago.