Cheltenham: Odeon Cinema, 39 Winchcombe Street, Cheltenham, GL52 2NE (now vacant)
Originally opened on 6th March 1933 as the Gaumont Palace
Theatre it was a project of Gaumont Albany Ward and PCT and had a seating capacity of 1,774. Additional facilities included a 100 seat cafe & ballroom. The facade has two relief sculptures by Newbury A. Trent, which depict dancing figures holding up strips of celluloid, capturing the ‘spirit of romance of the film’.
Below: The Gaumont Cinema (prior to being renamed Odeon) on the day the film ‘Morning Departure’ was released. There is a local cadet band playing in the street as part of the attraction. Taken by SF Scorey in 1950, this was probably a promo shot for the cinema and film.
In 1937 it became the Gaumont and was re-named Odeon from 16th December 1962. It was divided into a triple screen cinema from 1973 and later further sub-divided into seven screens, with the extra screens being formed out of the former cafe/ballroom in 1987, the front stalls and on the stage in 1989. During the early 1960s, the cinema played host to The Beatles and Rolling Stones (see flyer far left). The cinema was closed on the 5th November 2006 and, as of 2010, has fallen into disrepair, despite several annoucments of takeover bids.
Cheltenham: The Daffodil, 18-20 Suffolk Parade
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 2AE (now a Restaurant)
Above & Below: The Daffodil in a bygone era. The Daffodil cinema opened in October 1922 with the showing of the film Thunderclap, a drama by Richard Stanton. In September 1963 the cinema showed its last film Cape Fear & in 1977 the cinema was converted into a bingo hall, an antiques showroom & in 1998, a restaurant.
Cheltenham: ABC Cinema/The Regal, Promenade,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1PL (now Royscot House)
Above/Below The ABC cinema closed in 1981 to make way for Royscott House, a new development of offices. The last films it screened were Kentucky Fried Movie and The Other Cinderella.
Cheltenham: Royal Picture House, North Street,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, (unknown useage now)
The first purpose-built cinema in Cheltenham, ‘The Royal Picture House’ opened in 1914, with 1000 seats.
Cheltenham: Coliseum Cinema,18-20 Albion Street,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 2LP (now vacant)
22nd September 1913. The building was designed by Mr H. R. Rainger and was built on the site of the Conservative Club, with the original façade being used.
It was renamed the Coliseum in 1919 before becoming a cinema from 1931 until 1974. Before becoming vacant in 2003, the building was a bingo hall, Bransons snooker hall and, latterly, Springbok nightclub. The building has been earmarked for demolition, according to a recent news article.
Cheltenham: The Bacon Theatre, Dean Close School
Shelburne Road, Cheltenham GL51 6HE (still open)
Built in 1991, the theatre owes its name to Mr Christopher Bacon, headmaster of Dean Close School from 1979-1998. In October it serves as the venue for Cheltenham Literature Festival events, and in July, the Open Air Theatre Festival takes place in the Tuckwell Amphitheatre.
Cheltenham: Essoldo, 391 Lower High Street, Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire GL50 3HU (now Ace Bingo hall)
Opened on the 18 September 1937 & designed by architect & proprietor A. S. Walters, the Essaldo had 879 seats.
Modernised and re-opened in 1954, it closed on the 25th April 1964 and became Ace Bingo & Social Club in 2006.