Cinema owner fined £15,000 for screening Covid conspiracy theory movie

Cinema owner in Wales is fined £15,000 for screening Covid conspiracy theory movie after being ordered to close because she refused to check vaccine passes

  • Cinema & Co in Swansea was ordered to close in November but flouted the rules
  • Owner Anna Redfern, 45, reopened the cinema to show a Covid conspiracy film
  • In December, she showed A Good Death, a film made by David Icke’s son Jaymie 
  • It came after she was ordered to close for refusing to check vaccination passes

A cinema in Wales that was ordered to close after breaking Covid-19 rules has been fined £15,000 after flouting the ban to show a conspiracy theory movie.

The Cinema & Co movie house in Swansea was ordered to close in November after owner Anna Redfern, 45, repeatedly breached Welsh Covid regulations by refusing to check vaccination passes. 

At the time, Ms Redfern said on Facebook the rules were ‘unfair and killing the entertainment industry’ and vowed to ‘take a stand’ against the new ‘discriminatory and unlawful’ measures. 

Ms Redfern then breached the order and reopened at the start of December to show the ‘world premiere’ of a film made by conspiracy theorist David Icke’s son Jaymie, the BBC reported.

The movie A Good Death makes a series of unfounded allegations against the NHS – including that staff were deliberately killing elderly people.

Ms Redfern was fined £15,000 and handed a 28-day suspended prison sentence on December 14 after admitting contempt of court for failing to comply with the earlier order.

Cinema & Co in Swansea was ordered to close in November after owner Anna Redfern (pictured), 45, breached Covid regulations by refusing to check vaccination passes

Ms Redfern had described the film as ‘thought provoking’, despite the fact it was labelled as ‘completely false and ‘pernicious’ by fact-checkers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

She had told the Icke family it would be a ‘pleasure’ to show the ‘eye-opening’ film and to ‘disseminate real information’.

Defending her decision, she told BBC Wales: ‘Firstly, Cinema & Co does not practise censorship.

‘Secondly, caring for my mother at the end of her life and reflecting upon my own mortality, I have given a great deal of consideration as to what constitutes a ‘good death’ and found the film very thought provoking.’

MailOnline has contacted Cinema & Co for further comment. 

After the cinema was ordered to close on November 18, Ms Redfern reportedly reopened the venue on December 1 for a festive screening of Santa Claus: The Movie before showing the conspiracy film four nights later.

Ms Redfern then reopened Cinema & Co (pictured) to show the ‘world premiere’ of a film made by conspiracy theorist David Icke’s son Jaymie after the first court order

The movie A Good Death makes a series of unfounded allegations against the NHS – including that staff were deliberately killing elderly people. Pictured: Cinema & Co in Swansea

The following week, Ms Redfern admitted being in contempt of court and told the judge that she would comply with the local authority.

Former sports broadcaster David Icke, who claims the Royal family are shape-shifting lizards, was suspended from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2020 after posting a series of Covid-19 conspiracy theories.

The former footballer made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.  

Facebook said his account published ‘health misinformation that could cause physical harm’.

Speaking about Jaymie Icke’s film, Callum Hunt, head of research at CCDH, described the film as ‘dangerous’ and said it is a ‘fairly typical piece of conspiracy theory propaganda about Covid’.

He said: ‘What is really dangerous about the film that the Icke brothers have put together and put on at this cinema in Swansea is that it is painting hardworking NHS doctors and nurses as deliberately setting out to murder patients strictly in order to push up the numbers of the Covid pandemic, which is a complete reversal of what’s actually going on in the NHS.’  

Cinema & Co had been ordered to close in November after it announced it would not enforce rules which extended the Covid pass scheme in Wales to cover cinemas, theatres and concert halls. 

Ms Redfern (pictured) was fined £15,000 and handed a 28-day suspended prison sentence on December 14 after admitting contempt of court for failing to comply with the earlier order

Former sports broadcaster David Icke (pictured) was suspended from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2020 after posting a series of Covid-19 conspiracy theories

The cinema said that the venue could be closed for a maximum of 28 days after the first court order.

Speaking after her cinema was told to close, Ms Redfern said: ‘I’m clearly distraught.

‘I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the offers of help and support locally, nationally and even internationally. I have no further comment to make, but I will not be bullied.’

In a social media post, Cinema & Co said: ‘Dear Customers. As an independent business, we will not be implementing the nonsensical & unnecessary Covid passports here in Swansea, Wales, as they are unlawful, an infringement of our human rights & discriminate against those exercising their right to bodily autonomy.’

Ms Redfern had claimed that the rules on the entertainment industry in Wales were ‘discriminatory’.

She said: ‘If this is the hill I am going to die on then this is the hill I’m going to die on.

‘I’m standing up for what I believe in, it is not fair by any stretch of the imagination – it is killing the entertainment industry and hospitality is even next – it says so in the rules.

‘They keep changing the goal posts, they keep putting up more obstacles and I have a right to earn a living, it puts food on my kids table and I’m a single mum, dealing with all this has been extremely challenging.’ 

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