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Cinematograph Entf

council, premises, license, act, regulations, county, statutory and exhibition

CINEMATOGRAPH ENTF r2se are now subject to the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1909. Statutory regulations have been made by the Home Secretary in regard to the character and dis position of the premises and the apparatus with a view to securing safety. These may be obtained from Messrs. Wyman & Sons at a cost of a few pence.

Exhibitions to which the Act applies are " picture or other optical effects by means of a cinematograph, or other similar apparatus, for the purposes of which inflammable films are used." In the case, therefore, of an exhibition produced by non-inflammable films the Act would not apply. Exhibitions in which inflammable films are used will now be lawful only when given (a) in compliance with the statutory regulations, and (b) in licensed premises. But the Act does not apply to an exhibition given in a private dwelling house to which the public are not admitted, whether on payment or other wise. Nor need the premises be licensed if they are used occasionally only, and not for more than six days in any calendar year for the purpose of exhibitions within the meaning of the Act ; but where it is proposed to give an exhibition in such premises, the occupier must, at least seven days before the exhibition, have given a written notice to the local Licensing Council and the local chief of the police of his intention to use the premises, and he must have complied with the statutory regulations and also with any conditions imposed by the County Council and notified to him in writing.

The licensc.—The license is granted in a county borough by the Borough Council, and in a county by the County Council. The powers of a County Council may, however, be delegated to a District Council or to justices sitting in petty session. Such terms, conditions, and restrictions may be inserted into a license as, subject to the statutory regulations, a Council may think fit. They need not be limited to imposing conditions for securing safety, but may require the premises to be closed on Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day (London County Council v. Bermondsey Bioscope Co.). The license is annual or for shorter period, at the discretion of the Council, unless previously revoked. It may be transferred. An applicant for a license or a transfer is required to give not less than seven days' written notice to the Council and the chief of the police, but such notice is not requisite on an application for the renewal of an existing license held by the applicant for the same premises. Fees may be charged on a grant, renewal, or transfer ;

but they must not exceed £1 in the case of a grant or renewal for one year, or, in the case of a grant or renewal for a less period, 5s. for every month for which it is granted or renewed, so, however, that the aggregate of the fees payable in any year shall not exceed .e1, or, in the case of 5s.

Theatres.—Where the premises are licensed by the Lord Chamberlain, th.: powers of thy Council, under this Act. are as respects those premises exciseable by him of by a Council.

Moveable buildnigs.—It is not necessary to obtain a license for an ex hibition in a building or structure of a moveable character from the Council of the county or borough in which a proposed exhibition is to be given, proviaed the owner of the building has already obtained a license for it from the Council in whose area he ordinarily resides. It is'necessary, though, that the owner should give to the Council and chief of the police of the arca in which h?. intends to give the exhibition at least two days previous written notice of his intention an4 comr, y with the statutory regulations, and, subject to such regulations, with any conditions imposed by the latter and notified by him in writing.

Penalties.—The owner of a cinematograph or other apparatus who uses it or allows it to be used in contravention of the provisions of the Act, or of the statutory regulations, or of the conditions or restrictions upon or subject to which any license to the premises has been granted under the Act, is liable to a substantial penalty. So, too, is the occupier of any premises who allows them to be used in like contravention. The penalty on summary conviction is, in each case, a fine not exceeding £20. In the ease of a continuing offence, there is a further penalty of £5 for each day during which the offence continues, and the license (if any) may be revoked by the Council.

Power of entry.—With a view to seeing whether the provisions of the Act, or the statutory regulations, and the conditions of the license have been complied with, a constable, or an offices' appointed for the purpose by a Council, may at all reasonable times enter a person's premises, whether licensed or not, in which he has reason to believe that a cinematograph exhibition is being or is about to be given. Any one who prevents or obstructs his entry is liable, on summary conviction, to a penalty not ex ceeding 220.