Redfield cinema: campaigners invite the public to have their say at meetings this weekend

The campaign was set up to save the art deco cinema in the back of a former Wetherspoons at St George’s Hall on Church Road

Organisers behind the grassroots campaign to save the Redfield cinema in Bristol are inviting the public to have their say at two meetings this weekend.

Save Redfield Cinema campaign was set up to save the art deco cinema in the back of a former Wetherspoons at St George’s Hall on Church Road.

The cinema is one of the oldest surviving in the country, built in 1912 and running as a cinema until it became a bingo hall in 1961 and then mothballed in the 1970s. Bristol-born actor Stephen Merchant has already pledged his support to save the 750-seat cinema, as has his father Ron, who was a regular filmgoer there before it closed.

Private developer Landrose has submitted a planning application for a 44-bed HMO (houses in multiple occupation) at the former cinema.

There were around 1,000 objections on the council’s planning portal and Landrose withdrew their application, saying they were willing to talk with campaigners.

Save Redfield Cinema say that meeting never materialised, despite multiple attempts, and Landrose has now announced they’re about to submit another planning application for the same 44-bed HMO and they held their first public consultation at the site last week.

Save Redfield Cinema managed to gain Asset of Community Value status for the property last year but Wetherspoons sold the building to Landrose, just before, removing the campaigners’ chance to buy it for the community.

Save Redfield Cinema has now developed a business plan, liaising with an ex-Curzon development lead and funders.

A spokesperson from the campaign said: “We’ve also been working with a group of University of the West of England (UWE) MA Architectural students, calling themselves ‘Revive Redfield Cinema’.

“They have spent time trying to get a sense of St George’s Hall and what it could offer as a community space.

“We are absolutely sure there’s a better way for this building to continue to serve the community, that benefits everyone with a mix of housing, a cinema, food hall and place to gather.”

The UWE students will be attending two meetings this weekend to show people their plans. The meetings will be an opportunity for residents to talk to designers and interact with a scale model of the building, exploring the full potential of what the space could provide the community.

The meetings are on Saturday (December 3) at Bethesda Methodist Church (2.30pm-4pm) and on Sunday (December 4) at St George Community Centre from 5pm-7pm.

Ron Merchant, father of Stephen Merchant, has thrown his support behind the Save Redfield Cinema campaign