(click image to enlarge)
The present watercolour shows the central section of the Strand, in London’s West End, as it looked in 1927, while the road was subject to a widening scheme. The project had begun in 1899 with the rebuilding of the Strand frontage of the Hotel Cecil, which can be seen looming over the other buildings. Following the hiatus of the First World War and its aftermath, work continued in 1923 with the rebuilding of the Tivoli Theatre of Varieties as a ‘Picture Theatre’. The Tivoli sits at the centre of the image, and is identified by the words ‘Ben Hur’, advertising the British premiere of the American silent epic, which ran there from November 1926 to October 1927. The buildings between the Cecil and the Tivoli, and those at the far right of the image, were demolished soon after S R Badmin completed his visual document.