After working briefly in various film renters' offices in London (FBO, XL, Pathé, Bolton), Dent moved to Glasgow at the start of WWI to work as a sales agent for the Newcastle Film Supply, which at the time distributed Famous Players-Lasky films. He was very successful in this role, and was well-known and respected amongst the Glasgow trade.
After the end of the war, Dent resigned from Newcastle Film Supply and started his own distribution company, Waverley Films, which started trading in 1920 with John Maxwell (Glasgow lawyer and cinema owner) and James Wright (a cinema builder) as directors. By that time, he also had investments in a number of cinemas in Glasgow (King's), Kilmarnock (Empire), Falkirk (New Cinema), Dundee (Palladium), and Bo'ness (Pavilion).
In 1924, Dent moved back to London as sales manager for Wardour Films, just acquired by John Maxwell from Hibbert's. Wardour absorbed Waverley and other of Maxwell's interests, and went on to become the powerful Associated British Picture Corporation. After Maxwell's death, Dent started Adelphi Films, an independent production/distribution company.
Dent was a founding member of the Scottish Cinema Trade Benevolent Fund, the Cinema Club, and a founder a ex-chaplain of Lodge Anima, Glasgow.
Source: Phone conversation and written information provided by Kate Lees, Arthur Dent's granddaughter, 5 February 2014.
Adelphi Films website
'Arthur Dent Moves South', The Bioscope, 18.09.1924
'Studies in Personality, No. 33', The Bioscope, 29.09.1927
Some items from Arthur Dent's scrapbooks, owned by Kate Lees, can be viewed here Arthur Dent Scrapbooks