Stephen Merchant’s father explains why he is backing the campaign to save Redfield Cinema

As the campaign continues to fight to save Redfield Cinema and urges the public to lodge an objection to the council, Ron Merchant explains why he is in support of saving the historic site
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The campaign to save Redfield Cinema is still ongoing, but the consultation on the planning application lodged to turn it into HMO accommodation is closing soon, so the team has ramped up campaign action to encourage people to lodge an objection.

For their most recent campaign, they’ve managed to capture the passion for Redfield Cinema in a familiar face, none other than local resident Ron Merchant, father of renowned actor and comedian Stephen Merchant.

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The Save the Redfield Cinema Group has been tirelessly campaigning since then to secure the building as an Asset of Community Value. They are hoping that their work will mean that Bristol City Council reject the plans while they focus on fundraising to buy the building.

Recently, they were calling out for legal help and advice, and there are constant updates for the public and supporters on their social media pages.

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

In a bid to capture the essence of the cinema and to showcase to people why it needs saving, the campaign team have worked with local filmmakers Sam Cole and Paul Burke to produce two short films to truly capture the magic of the building.

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In one of the films, Ron Merchant goes back in time to talk about the building when it was called The Granada, and tells us how it inspired him to become a real film fanatic.  He reminisces here about going to see the last ever film shown there, and tells how the Cinema ignited his love of film.

But it didn’t only ignite his love of film and he talks of how it was passed down to his, now famous, son Stephen. “Well, certainly the cinema changed my life,” he says, on film.

Stephen Merchant is also rallying his support of the campaignStephen Merchant is also rallying his support of the campaign
Stephen Merchant is also rallying his support of the campaign

“I guess I owe it to The Granada which got me interested in it because my son must have got the habit from me of cinema. He made The Office and some cinema films, so in a way I’ve gone from Redfield to Hollywood in a generation purely because of The Granada.

“When I found out about the cinema still existing, I thought, what a wonderful opportunity for all of us. It needs to be saved just for the future and the atmosphere that is still there. You can feel the creative urge coming back - to me, anyway, and the magic.”

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Mr Merchant, also known as an actor from The Office and The Comedy Lab, voices his support for it to be a community asset for Redfield.

“I would like to think that we could now give the opportunity to the local people of Redfield to create a community asset that would be such a benefit to everybody,” he says. “You need to keep people together in the community and the only way you can do it is if you bring people together - it’s so vitally important that we do it.”

Local music producer Jordan Davies aka Blazey Bodynod talks passionately about how we need beacons of hope and inspiration for the diverse people of East BristolLocal music producer Jordan Davies aka Blazey Bodynod talks passionately about how we need beacons of hope and inspiration for the diverse people of East Bristol
Local music producer Jordan Davies aka Blazey Bodynod talks passionately about how we need beacons of hope and inspiration for the diverse people of East Bristol

In a second short film from the campaign, local music producer Jordan Davies aka Blazey Bodynod agrees with Mr Merchant and talks passionately about how we need beacons of hope and inspiration for the diverse people of East Bristol.

“I feel like it’s massively important for people to take this seriously, because when you uncover a gem like that it should be preserved. I do feel that it should be used for its intended purpose which is to be a cinema offering inspiration to many people,” he says.

“What we need in that area of East Bristol is a space for the community, for people to be able to showcase their art and inspire others to do the same.”

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