Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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Our PTA is planning on showing a movie on the school ground Outdoor for its annual dinner and movie night.  It will not be charging an admission fee.  We are wondering if we can need to pay a license fee to show a movie. If yes, how much it is.  We are expecting around 200 people.  If we rent a Disney movie, do we still have to pay a licensing fee?

Yes, anytime the movie is being shown in outdoor venue, this is a public viewing which is not covered by our license as opposed to a school showing limited to indoor viewing which would be covered under our license. The movies we can buy at retail or rent through retail vendors are licensed only for home viewing or at school inside the building under our current license. I called and spoke at length to the company and the answer is convoluted so bear with me. We are actually dealing with two companies in this process: Movie licensing USA and Swank Productions

The public/outdoor viewing, even if free, requires a license in order for you to legally show the movie.  The one-time viewing licensing fee that you will pay also requires that they provide you a legal official copy of  the movie fro  the studio.  In other words, the studios want to make sure that only licensed copies of original quality of their products are being shown. That’s why they want lead time so that you can promote the event but most importantly, they have time to ship you the official version of the movie. (please read the details at the end of that order form regarding promotion of the movie. )  I specifically asked if school has its own copy of the movie to show, do we still need to get the studio copy and the answer: yes, you would need the studio copy for public (outdoor) viewing. So if you ordered late, you would still need to pay for the express shipping of the movie, as they are obligated by studio contract, to send it to you.