Dan Clifford, a prominent promoter of cinemas and the motion picture industry in South Australia, was born in Adelaide in 1887. His career included purchase of the Wondergraph network of cinemas and a period as president of the Motion Picture Exhibitors 1932-35. At the time of his death in 1942 he owned the Star Circuit of 20 suburban and country cinemas.
The Piccadilly was one of the last cinemas built before World War II stopped construction of buildings for almost six years. Ross Thorne in Cinemas of Australia via U.S.A. described the building as being at a crossroads in design, with no particular theme connecting its design elements.
Chevron-shaped windows harkened back to the jazz style, providing light to the sweeping curved main stair. Most other windows were rectangular or circular and half-circular. The ceiling of the upper foyer was of a simple Moderne style with a sweep of smooth fibrous plaster: “The smooth side walls were decorated by large streamlined wheels with a centre slipstream motif projecting towards the proscenium a short distance and being taken up by a thin mould line, which swept down in a curve and returned towards the rear of the auditorium.”