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Reference > Media law & regulation > UK media laws > Cinema and film > Cinematograph Act 1952

UK media laws: Cinema and films

THE CINEMATOGRAPH ACT 1952

15&16 Geo.6 & 1 Eliz.2 c.68

An Act to extend and amend the Cinematograph Act 1909, and, as respects cinematograph entertainments, to modify the enactments relating to music and dancing licences


1.—Extension of 9 Edw. 7 c. 30 to cinematograph exhibitions using non-inflammable films or television, etc.
2.—Scope of Secretary of State's regulations. Allows SIs for safety [but see Fire Precautions Act 1971], health and welfare of children.
3.—Provisions as to conditions of licences. Licensing authority must impose conditions or restrictions within their powers under Act of 1909 on showing of 'works unsuitable for children'.
4.—Control of cinematograph exhibitions for children. Shows for children must be licensed.
5.—Exemptions for non-commercial exhibitions. No licence is required for any shows exempted by the Act of 1909, nor for exempted organisations which are certified as non-profit-making by the Commissioners of Customs & Excise. There shall be no exemptions under 4 of this Act.
6.—Appeals.
7.—Music and dancing licences are not required for cinema to graph exhibitions.
9.—Interpretation.
    'Child' is under 16 years of age.
    'Cinematograph exhibition' means an exhibition of moving pictures produced on a screen by means which include the projection of light.


Sch
Minor and consequential amendments of  9 Edw. 7 c.30. Allows taking of samples of film under powers of entry to test for flammability.

SI
1955/1128 Cinematograph Act 1952 (Commencement in England and Wales) Instrument
See also SIs under Cinematograph Act 1909.

Several important modifications were made to the 1909 Act, which could have been consolidated and repealed but was not. The legislation was extended to include cinematograph exhibitions using non-inflammable films or television, etc (but see the note about definitions below).
       The Secretary of State was permitted to make regulations in respect of safety, the health and welfare of children. In particular, licensing authorities were required to impose conditions or restrictions on the screening of 'works unsuitable for children'. All shows for children must be licensed, even if under the previous regulations they might have claimed exemption. Otherwise the exemptions under the 1909 Act continued, and organisations certified as non-profit-making by the Commissioners of Customs & Excise were permitted to hold unlicensed exhibitions. Separate music and dancing licences were not required for cinematograph exhibitions.
       The Act defined a 'child' as being under 16 years of age and 'cinematograph exhibition' as 'an exhibition of moving pictures produced on a screen by means which include the projection of light'. Thus, it does not mean holographic displays without a screen nor, more importantly, some of the non-projected large-screen cinema-television that had been demonstrated during the previous 25 years.
       For reasons that are not clear, the Act allowed taking of samples of film under powers of entry to test for flammability—a provision that has already been granted under the Celluloid and Cinematograph Films Act 1922.
This Act was repealed by the Cinemas Act 1985.

Cinema and film laws.
Alphabetical list of statutes.

 

Page created 9 March 2009
David Fisher