THE self-proclaimed Phantom of the Opera, who has been leaving drawings of Mario Lanza in pubs across the Black Country and beyond for five decades without ever being identified, is the subject of a film which will receive one of its very first showings this weekend.
The man known only by his initials, AJW, was hunted down by London-based film maker Barney Snow and filmed over a period of three years. Barney, who regularly films and directs for the BBC and Channel 4, will be on hand at the Boar's Head in Kidderminster to introduce the 45-minute film, entitled Some Day I'll Find You, at 7pm on Sunday, July 27.
In recent times the Phantom has recruited a legion of new followers thanks to his Facebook page. Many who were previously unaware of his antics, and who weren't even born when he started, have been led to AJW's social media site via the address left on the beermats, along with cryptic messages and the obligatory Lanza caricature.
The film explores the history of the Phantom phenomenon, the rumours about who me might be, and just why he has been doing it for so long.
There is even exclusive hidden camera footage of the mystery man planting his drawings in public places.
Retired detective Mick Pearson brings his experience to this most bizarre of cases, and there are appearances from the late Wednesbury artist Fred Barnfield (often rumoured to be the Phantom himself) and a cameo from The Bugle.