If you want to make use of premises for exhibition of films to members of the public, you will need a cinema licence. This includes any exhibition of moving pictures and would include screening of recorded films, performances or others.
Completing your application
How to apply
You can also download an application form.
Your application must be accompanied by:
- The information requested on the application form.
- A plan showing the layout of the premises to be used.
- A completed electrical installation certificate.
There is an application fee of £675.30 which must be paid at the time the application is made:
- If you are making your application online, you will be directed to our online payment system when you have completed your application
- If you are sending us your application, you can send a cheque for the fee made payable to Argyll and Bute Council to the address below:
You can contact us using our online enquiry form
By post at:
Argyll and Bute Council
Or phone: 01546 605519
A Cinema Licence is not required for:
- exhibiting films in a private house, to which the public are not admitted, provided the exhibition is not for private gain.
- non-commercial film exhibitions to which the public are not admitted or are admitted without payment or exhibitions by exempted societies or organisations.
- occasional and exceptional exhibitions - where premises are used on no more than six days in the calendar year.
- mobile cinemas (other than for where the owner of the mobile unit resides)
Additionally, a Cinema Licence is not required for:
- video games
- screening of television programmes at the time they are received.
The Application process
How is the application dealt with?
On receipt of a completed application form, accompanied by the appropriate fee, we will check with the Police and Fire and Rescue Service before determining the application.
Is my application granted automatically?
No it is in the public interest that the council processes your application before it can be granted. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period .
Objections and Appeals
If your application is refused you can contact us to request a statement of the reasons for our decision.
You have a right of appeal to the Sheriff Court.
Appeals against the refusal of an application must be made to the Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde, Paisley Sheriff Court, St James Street, Paisley, PA3 2AW.
Each licence issued is subject to standard conditions that are imposed on all Cinema Licences issued however a licence may also contain special conditions that are only applicable to your particular activity. Below are the standard conditions for cinemas.
- The licensee or the responsible Manager, his deputy for the time being or occupier of the premises, shall immediately communicate to Strathclyde Fire and Rescue any outbreak of fire, however slight.
- All attendants on duty to assist persons entering or leaving the auditorium shall wear a distinguishing uniform, armband or badge.
- No film shall be exhibited unless
- it has received a “U”, “PG”, “12A”, “15” or “18” certificate of the British Board of Film Classification, or
- it is a current newsreel which has not been submitted to the British Board of Film Classification.
- No person under the age of 18 years shall be admitted to any exhibition at which there is to be shown any film which has received an “18” certificate from the British Board of Film Classification.
- No person under the age of 15 years shall be admitted to any exhibition at which there is to be shown any film which has received a “15” certificate from the British Board of Film Classification.
- No person apparently under the age of 12 years shall be admitted to any exhibition at which there is to be shown any film which has received a “12A” certificate from the British Board of Film Classification unless that person is accompanied throughout that exhibition by a person aged 18 years or older.
- Notwithstanding the conditions herein before contained, a film may be exhibited or persons or any class of person may be admitted thereto if the permission of Argyll and Bute Council is first obtained and any conditions of such permission are complied with.
- A representation or written statement of the terms of any certificate given by the British Board of Film Classification shall be shown on the screen immediately before the showing of any film to which it relates and the representation or statement shall be shown for long enough and in a form large enough for it to be read from any seat in the auditorium.
- There shall be prominently exhibited at each public entrance whenever the premises are open to the public a notice indicating in tabular form and in clear, bold letters and figures
- the title of each film to be shown on that day, other than trailers and films of less than 5 minutes duration
- the approximate times of commencement of each such film
- whether each such film has received a “U”, “PG”, “12A”, “15” or “18” certificate from the British Board of Film Classification, and
- the effect of such “U”, “PG”, “12A”, “15” or “18” certificates in relation to the admission of persons under the age of 18 years.
- The nature of any certificate received in respect of a film from the British Board of Film Classification shall be clearly indicated by the letter “U”, “PG”, “12A”, “15” or “18” in any advertisement of the film displayed at the premises.
- No advertisement displayed at the premises of a film to be exhibited at the premises shall depict as a scene or incident in the film any scene or incident which is not included in the film as certified by the British Board of Film Classification or approved for exhibition by Argyll and Bute Council, as the case may be.
- Where Argyll and Bute Council has given notice in writing to the Licensee of the premises objecting to an advertisement on the ground that, if displayed, it would offend against good taste or decency or be likely to encourage or incite to crime or to lead to disorder or to be offensive to public feeling that advertisement shall not be displayed at the premises except with the consent in writing of Argyll and Bute Council.
- Where Argyll and Bute Council has given notice in writing to the Licensee of the premises prohibiting the exhibition of a film on the ground that it contains matter which, if exhibited, would offend against good taste or decency or would be likely to encourage or to incite to crime or to lead to disorder or to be offensive to public feeling, that film shall not be exhibited in the premises except with the consent in writing of Argyll and Bute Council.