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Opening a cinema club

Can I run a film club in my pub?

Q: I recently took over the tenancy for a run down pub in small town. I spent considerable time and money refurbishing the main bar and am pleased that we have now built up a loyal customer base. There is a disused upstairs function room which I would now like to refurbish and use for a weekly film club, where my customers can pay a monthly subscription and we will show a different film each week. Am I allowed to do this?

A: Congratulations on the work you have done so far! Offering something new, such as a film club, is a great way build your business and give more to the community you operate in. You should check your premises licence includes the permission to show films. You must also review your premises licence plans to determine whether the function room is included in the licensed area. Do be aware that if you are planning on changing the layout, for example, putting in fixed seating, you may need to make a plans variation. Finally, check there are no conditions restricting the use of the premises. Applications may need to be made to ensure that your premises licence is suitable for your film club. Check the terms of your lease and planning permission to ensure there are no conditions restricting the use of the area. To prevent copyright issues, you will need a separate licence to show the film itself and there are film distribution companies who can supply such licences. You will also need a Performing Rights Society (PRS) licence and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) licence, as the music in the films needs to be licensed separately. Film clubs have many benefits, but it is a complicated area and if in doubt speak to your solicitor.

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