#1 Rule For Showing Movies Outdoors In Public

Posted by Paul Murray on Thursday Aug 28, 2014 Under Tips

First Rule to showing movies outdoors

The Hollywood movie making industry is a multi-billion dollar a year business. Most of these big screen productions are shown in a cinema or movie theater. However, there are a growing number of outdoor movie events that are occurring all over the country in part due to inflatable movie screen rentals. There is nothing like enjoying a great movie from the comfort of your vehicle or blanket and under an open sky. Movies in the Park events planning and the acquiring of required movie licensing due to copyright laws.

To host a movie outdoors whether it be on your own portable blow up screen or through an equipment rental company, there are rules and movie licenses that have to be addressed. There are many myths surrounding the subject of showing films outside at a private event. One of these myths is that the film studio do not have time to check up on such matters. The truth is that the introduction of the internet and social media make it easier for Hollywood Studios to track illegal showings of their materials. Films being shown need to pay a licensing fee to the movie studio. A professional outdoor movie event equipment provider is the answer to this dilemma.

The second myth is that you can just pretend as if you did not know about the copyright law concerning the licensing and fees. This matter can result in hefty fines of up to $250,000.00 or up to five years in jail. If the licensing company or the studio can prove that the infringement was intentional and willful, this is a hefty trip to the snack bar of the theater. This is a mighty fine to endure for the lack of paying a fee or acquiring a license to show a film. This simple act of ignorance is a poor excuse for copyright infringement when it comes to the opinions of the FBI and the movie studios. The FBI has created a warning that is displayed at the beginning of every movie, stating the consequences of not complying with the laws. No excuses are accepted.

The big movie companies make enough money and will not miss the money from an illegal showing, is another myth that surrounds the screening of outdoor movies. An opinion that is shared by people is that movie studios have enough money and will not miss it. They are huge and uncaring so they can afford to have some of their movies shown without receiving payment for them. The truth is that the monies paid to the film industry help to ensure that there will be future works available for the public to view. The performers and workers involved in the production and development of these movies deserve to be paid for their great work. A professional outdoor cinema or a/v rental company can best handle paying the fees and acquiring the licenses needed for your special outdoor event.

To successfully hold a public movie viewing event without having to pay these fees and acquire the licensing, it is necessary to meet certain criteria. To show a production of a movie in a setting such as a church, a restaurant, or a school, there are parameters that must be met. To show a movie in a school and be exempt from obtaining a movie license

  1. There must be a teacher present at all times during the viewing of the film.
  2. The film must be shown in a classroom type setting.
  3. The current school curriculum must be part of the movie being viewed.

If all of these parameters are met, the organization will be allowed to view the movie without the cost of the licenses and fees associated with the copyright.

Perhaps the most important reason for paying the licensing fees when operating an outdoor theater is the performers and the art itself. These people who have worked all of their lives to be seen on the big screen are just people like you and I. They have personal lives and families. They have bills and worries just like everyone else. They too deserve the paycheck that they earn by creating some of the best cinema ever. Their jobs are very demanding and often keep them away from their homes and families for long periods of time to create these unforgettable films.

Events showing flicks outdoors have been around for a great number of years, and they are still held accountable for the fees and costs associated with the showing of a film. Whether your event is a neighborhood get-together, a non-profit fundraiser, or a free public event, the requirements are the same. There are no exceptions when it comes to the seriousness of the need for licenses and paying the fees associated with outdoor movie theater productions. Hire Southern Outdoor Cinema to produce your special event and they will help to secure the licensing for your movie showing. Do so and your mind will be free and clear to enjoy your movie under the open sky.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema

About Southern Outdoor Cinema
Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of high quality outdoor movie events in the United States for movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, schools and cities. Southern Outdoor Cinema produces extraordinary outdoor movie experiences with big screens and bright and colorful images so that your audience members feel like they are at a real Hollywood film premiere. Contact Southern Outdoor Cinema to receive a free consultation for your next special event.

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Three Myths About Movie Licensing You Need To Know Before Hosting A Movie Event

Posted by Paul Murray on Wednesday Jul 10, 2013 Under Tips

Movie Copyrights Considering ways to minimize costs for your next indoor or outdoor movie event?

One area where scrimping is a big no-no is movie licensing. Some outdoor movie companies will not work with you during this process in order to save themselves a few bucks and some time.

Here are a few warning signs you may be working with a company who doesn’t care about making sure your event goes off without a hitch.

1) Movie studios don’t have time to check up on illegal movie events. Social media and other internet sites have revolutionized promotion and event advertising. This also makes it much easier for licensing companies and filmmakers to make sure they aren’t enduring copyright infringement.

Much like employers nowadays are checking out Facebook and Twitter social media profiles before hiring, movie studios are diligently checking on illegal showings of their films. Ever notice how quickly YouTube video clips of movies and television shows get pulled? It is just as easy for them to find out if a public movie showing isn’t properly licensed.

2) If you get caught, just feign ignorance. Just because copyright law was not made available to you by an unprofessional company doesn’t mean you are off the hook. If the movie studio or licensing company can prove willful infringement, the penalty is huge – up to five years in jail or a $250,000 fine.


The cost of obtaining a movie license is minuscule in comparison to the fines and penalties associated with copyright infringement. Unfortunately, event planners are held liable for such infringement, not the outdoor movie company.

An unprofessional company will leave you holding the bag. Or, in this case, the bag of popcorn.

3) Not obtaining a license is only hurting big movie studios. They don’t really care and can afford to have a few illegal showings go unnoticed. Anyone who works in the movie industry will disagree vehemently with this myth.

Licensing requirements are not simply a way for companies to make money off of folks showing movies without a license. The laws are in place to make sure filmmakers and screenwriters continue to create really great movies!

Without licensing, these folks would have little recourse to ensure their works are protected and financed.

Remember, when you are planning a large-scale movie event, this falls under the public performance requirement of copyright law.

Even if the showing is free to the public or being held by a non-profit organization, a license is required for such an event.  The requirements for an educational exemption are very specific. There are no exceptions!

The public performance requirement excludes folks showing a movie for a few family and friends, but not movie events like we help you plan.

And there’s the key: At SOC, we assist you in obtaining a quote for the movie you wish to show, and we fill out licensing paperwork on your behalf to ensure your outdoor movie showing is legal.

We really take this seriously and have been for years. For more information on movie licensing, check out our FAQ.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC
“Bigger Screens. Brighter Images. Crisper Sound”

About Southern Outdoor Cinema
Southern Outdoor Cinema takes the stress and guess work out of hosting a movie theater-quality event outdoors and under the stars. Southern Outdoor Cinema doesn’t just rent movie screen equipment, but instead we share nearly a decade of movie event production experience with our clients to help them produce outdoor movie nights that are extraordinary. For a free consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

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Finding The Right Outdoor Movie Company So That You Have A Successful Event

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Apr 17, 2012 Under Tips

Today I want to talk to you about finding the right outdoor movie company so that you may have a succesfful event. First of all you need to know that there are two kinds of companies that produce outdoor movie events:

1.) The first kind of company that produces events are: DJ, Bounce House rental companies, and people who think it showing flicks outdoors is fun as a side businesses to their actual full time employment. These kind of companies typically hire people with now particular skill set to work their outdoor movie events.

Typically these kind of outdoor movie providers carry no insurance, or say they
have insurance
, but it does not cover outdoor movie event productions.

Equipment from these kind of providers are inexpensive, usually not commercial grade (but rather equipment ment for personal use) or that is underpowered for an outdoor movie setting. Their equipment is really ment for indoor movie events.

2.) The second type of company that produces outdoor movie events are full time businesses that specialize only in outdoor cinema productions. Outdoor movie production companies will use theatrical grade screen surfaces, professional grade video and audio sound systems. Cinema production companies equipment include HD digital projectors and high definition sound systems.

Employees of professional cinema companies typically have background in working with stage and audio-visual equipment and often work in the film industry.

Full time outdoor cinema productions companies will carry General Liability Insurance for EXACTLY what they do which is outdoor movie events.

Southern Outdoor Cinema is a company that fits into the second category of outdoor movie providers. We are a professional outdoor cinema company that specializes in outdoor movie productions.


Do you carry insurance and how much insurance do you carry?
Request a copy of the provider’s insurance and call the insurance agency listed on the paper. Find out if the business is covered for outdoor movie events or is the provider list as something else, such as a realtor.

How do I obtain a movie license?
BEWARE of an outdoor movie company that tells you do NOT need a movie license for outdoor movie events in public. These providers are asking you to break copyright laws. Via copyright laws all outdoor movie showings require a public performance license to be purchased, except for events shown in your backyard for personal use.

What brand of screen do you use?
Currently there are only three professional manufacturers of inflatable movie screens: AIRSCREEN, Open Air Cinema and EPIC. If a provider can not name their equipment then they do not know alot about what they are doing. The brand of screen that is use will effect both the presentation of your movie and safety of your event.

What type of screen surface are you using?
Professional grade screen surfaces will use theatrical grade surfaces, just like in the movie theater. Quality of the screen is measured in gain. Screen surfaces should be highly reflective so to produce a bright and colorful picture image. Big-box store and inexpensive screens will have a cloth or plastic surface that is see thru and not very reflective which will produce a dull or poor image quality.

What type of sound and projection are you using?
Most companies will claim they are using state-of-the-art audio or video, but when was it state-of-the-art? Equipment that was top quality 5 years ago, is not top quality today.

Do you maintaining your projectors? Are you changing the projector bulbs regularly?
Bulbs that are not changed in projectors will get dull over time and effect the image quality at your show.

How do you measure your screen size?
Is one companies 50′ screen the same as another companies 35′ screen? Do they measure the screen surface or frame. Are they measuring their inflatable movie screen on the diagnol, width or height. These are important questions to ask when comparing screen systems.

Can you provide references for the last 3 events you produced?
Professional outdoor movie providers should be able to provide references of the last three shows that they produce, not just a select list of references that may be old. Also ask to see pictures of actual events that company has produced.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema
“Bigger Screens. Brighter Images. Crisper Sound.”


Want to use this article on your website or your own blog? No problem! But here’s what you MUST include:
Southern Outdoor Cinema is the largest producer of PREMIUM outdoor movie events in the country. They are leading the industry with NEW & UNIQUE outdoor movie events. To begin planning your outdoor movie event contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com or visit their online photo gallery at www.facebook.com/SouthernOutdoorCinema for event ideas.

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Understanding Movie Copyright Laws

Posted by Paul Murray on Friday Mar 23, 2012 Under Tips

March is Copyright Awareness Month. Anytime a movie is shown outside the privacy of a home, a “public performance license” is required by law. This includes showing movies outdoors on an inflatable movie screen at schools, parks and churches.

Hollywood movies and films are copyrighted pieces of artwork. Permission to show these types of media in a public setting is required from the copyright holder. To obtain permission to show movies outside of your home, you must obtain a “Public performance license”. A public performance license is required even if your outdoor movie showing is free. A movie license is required regardless even if your movie event is organized by a non-profit or government agency. In other words, you cannot just bring a DVD from home and play it in a public setting.

Consequences for showing movies illegally are high. Individuals and organizations found not obtaining a public performance license for showing of a movie in a public setting may be fined up to $250,000 with possible jail time. The FBI warning at the beginning of a dvd explains this in detail.

Some public viewing of movies are exempt from not needing to obtain a public performance license. Under the “Educational Exemption” rule, a public performance license is not required by law. To qualify for this exemption, all of the following criterion must be met:

  • A teacher must be present during the movie showing
  • The showing of the film must be in a classroom setting
  • The movie viewing is part of the school curriculum

Southern Outdoor Cinema is qualified to secure the licensing for your event. SOC works with its clients to help them become copyright compliant for their outdoor movie showings.


Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of outdoor movie events in the United States for professional sports teams, movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies and cities. Using cutting edge outdoor cinema equipment paired with a proprietary movie event planning system, Southern Outdoor Cinema helps clients create highly successful and highly entertaining outdoor movie events. To learn more about Southern Outdoor Cinema, visit http://www.SouthernOutdoorCinema.com

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