Originally a solicitor's clerk, became a travelling showman in 1882 under the stage name 'President Kemp'. Incorporated the bioscope into his shows by 1901, and toured in the North of England and the South of Scotland. Anticipating the decline of the travelling bisocope by the end of the 1900s, he sold off his touring shows and invested in the building of the Pavilion Theatre in Johnston in 1912 and the La Scala in Saltcoats in 1913, while maintaining his interest i fairground entertainment with Dreamland in Glasgow. Retired in 1925, handing over the business to his son Harry.
Source: 'Glasgow's Latest Super Cinema', The Bioscope 14/04/1927
Scottish Screen Archive biography (Eamonn Butler): http://movingimage.nls.uk/biography/10050