My name is Phil Ray, Chair of Andover Film Club. I've posted this to ask for some assistance on a project we are currently working on. We're writing a document on the history of the cinemas of Andover and our research has uncovered that on the same plot that our second cinema was built on in 1926 there was a prior application for a cinema by a Reading resident, a Mr. W. V. Smith.
What we would like to know and would be very grateful for is some information on Mr. Smith, a brief line even, whether he was a successful businessman/builder or even went onto build a cinema elsewhere. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Enclosed is a copy of the letter he sent to the Andover Council in 1925, found by us in the Hampshire Archive in Winchester, informing them that, ‘In view of the limited population of the district, I have decided not to proceed further in the matter.’ He also asks about arrangements to retrieve his plans. The letter does have an address on, The Retreat, College Wood, and I hope that would be helpful clue to those familiar with the area.
Unfortunately for Mr. Smith an enterprising local man took his lead and built a cinema less than a year after the letter was written, it was later bought by Odeon and eventually closed in the late 60s.
Thank you for your time.