I found your site,surprisingly, while trying to trace Bill Davison! I bought Regent Films in Blackpool from Les Siddall around 1980...Derek Simmonds was going to buy Regent but pulled out when the excellent staff, Gordon Hastie, took a job at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool., and Les who was keen to retire asked me to step in...I am the former proprietor of Phoenix Films in Wigan, some of you may remember if youre as old as me!. The advantage in buying Regent to me was that Les had access to deals from the American 8mm distributors like Blackhawk, Thunderbird, etc, and in particular had a good deal that brought the original Ken Films 400 ft digests in to the UK...the prints were far superior to the UK produced prints released by my friend Peter Burt at Mountain Films. Regent in Blackpool was on Waterloo Road, next to the Palladium Bingo, a former cinema. It is now as far as I know part of the Palladium complex...I've not been in that part of Blackpool for many years. Most of the 8mm shops had to embrace video in the early days of VHS/Beta and tried to market 8mm package movies alongside VHS and Beta at first, but the market for film gradually shrank and while it was kept going at a loss because of my interest, and the interest of others like Cyril Owens at Jubilee Films, Derek Simmonds of course, Ralph Gill at PM Films, Dave West at Davelyn on the Isle Of Wight, and Keith Perry and Barry Wiles. A small shop, a very small shop like Regent did not have space for the amount of stock(video) required, and 8mm had become basically a competitive mail order business. Regent, and Phoenix, closed around 1982. Regent Films at started in Bolton,, and moved to Blackpool when Les Siddall and his wife moved to Blackpool. The first shop in Blackpool was in the centre of town, possibly 'Regent Street'...I'll have to check that. I've still got lots of catalogues and other stuff, so if anyone has any questions, just ask.
I hear that Bill Davison died in the 1980s...I wanted to ask him whether any former members of the Dewsbury Amateur Cine Society were still around...I'sorting through lots of 9.5 material and have found a 9.5 copy of a short made by them, on 9.5, and will eventually pass it on probably to the Yorkshire Film Archive. I'd be grateful for any information.