Motion pictures

By law, any person or business that distributes or publicly exhibits motion pictures or Restricted or Adult DVDs (adult motion pictures or “adult videos”) in BC requires a licence. To “distribute” means to rent, lease, sell or supply (or to offer to provide any of these services).

There are seven types of licences. Your business model may need more than one type of licence. If you are not sure what type of licence(s) you need, contact us.

You must be licensed as:

  • a motion picture distributor to distribute motion pictures to theatres;
  • a video distributor to distribute motion pictures to video retailers, motion picture distributors, or to other video distributors;
  • an adult film distributor to distribute adult videos to adult film retailers or to other adult film distributors;
  • a multi-purpose distributor to conduct business as a combination of a motion picture, video and adult film distributor;
  • a video retailer to distribute motion pictures to the public;
  • an adult film retailer to distribute adult videos to the public; or
  • a theatre to exhibit motion pictures and/or adult videos to the general public in a hall, building, premises, room or place, including open-air places (“drive-in theatres”).

Read the Motion Picture Act.
Read the Motion Picture Act Regulations.

How to get licensed

Once you have identified the type(s) of licence(s) you need, you are ready to start the application process. Not every requirement listed below applies for every type of licence, so please read each of the following steps carefully.

Licence application forms