Cinema Licence

In terms of the Cinemas Act 1985 cinema premises require to be licensed by their local authority. This licensing scheme is administered by the Council's Licensing Team.

The Team are able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence.

Which premises require a cinema licence from the Council?

In terms of Section 1 of the Cinemas Act 1985, a licence is required where premises are to be used for a film exhibition.

A film exhibition is defined as "any exhibition of moving pictures which is produced otherwise than by simultaneous reception and exhibition of:-

  • Television Programmes broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation or by the Independent Broadcasting Authority, or
  • Programmes included in a Cable Programme service which is, or does not require to be, licensed under Section 4 of the Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984".

In addition to the requirement for a licence, where it is intended to organise a film exhibition at premises wholly or mainly for children, you will have to obtain the Council's consent.

Are there any exemptions from requiring a cinema licence?

Which organisations are exempt from the need to obtain a cinema licence?

How do I apply for a licence?

How will my application be decided?

What standard conditions will be applied if my licence is granted?

What if my details change or I no longer wish to hold my licence?

How do you complain about a licence holder?