The story is a classic:
In 1949 Helene Hanff, in search of obscure classics and British literature titles she has been unable to find in New York City, notices an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature placed by antiquarian booksellers Marks & Co located at the titular address in London. She contacts the shop and chief buyer and manager Frank Doel fulfills her requests. A long distance friendship evolves over time, not only between the two but between Hanff and other staff members as well, including birthday gifts, holiday packages, and food parcels to compensate for post-World War II food shortages in Britain. Their correspondence includes discussions about topics as diverse as the sermons of John Donne, how to make Yorkshire Pudding, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the coronation of Elizabeth II.
Hanff postpones visiting her English friends until too late: Doel dies in December 1968 and the bookshop eventually closes. She finally visits Charing Cross Road and the vacant shop in the summer of 1971. Anne Bancroft played Hanff in the film and Anthony Hopkins was Frank Doel.