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Showing Films on Licensed Premises

What licensing issues do I need to think about?

Q:  I’ve recently taken over a modern pub / bar pub in an upmarket village. Over the Summer weeks I’ve tried to attract young families by offering coffee / cake deals and free kids meals with a purchased adult meal. It’s gone really well and to take it a step further I’d like to start showing films during the school October holidays. What licensing issues do I need to think about?

A:  There are two general areas that you need to think about with this type of activity. The first one is about having children on your premises. I suspect you’ve done this already given your family promotion, but in case you haven’t, check your Premises Licence to make sure that there are no conditions preventing the entry of children or restricting the hours they can be on your premises. If there are conditions, and depending on what they are, you may have to apply for a minor or major variation to your licence. 

And the children will need to be accompanied by responsible adults.  The second area you need to think about is the actual showing of films. Check your Premises Licence to ensure that you have permission to do this. 

Compliance with the relevant BBFC or local authority film classification is crucial as breaching this is a criminal offence. You need to consider other issues too, such as permissions from the distributor of the film, something that varies depending upon whether you intend to charge your customers to view the film. I suggest you check the websites of the main film distributors, Filmbank, the BFI and the Motion Picture Licensing Company for more details.

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