There are two primary film licensing agencies for the film studios. These film licensing companies do not represent all of the same studios. If the movie you select is not available at one licensing company, contact the other to see if the title is available through them. Some popular movies, such as Star Wars, have not been available for outdoor screenings in years at the request of the copyright holders.

Here are the two film licensing companies that you should contact directly to secure the rights to show a movie at a public venue. The sales reps are very helpful about letting you know about the movies that are scheduled to be released on DVD right before your event.

Swank Motion Pictures        Criterion USA



Film Liscensing FAQ's

Do I need a license?

Yes, unless you are hosting a private party in your own yard. In order to show a movie outdoors on a large screen to a viewing audience, your organization must obtain public performance rights.

How much does it cost?

The cost can range from $250 to $450 depending on the studio, audience size, title and event date. Licensing costs can fluctuate weekly. Contact your film licensing sales rep for a firm quote.

Who do we pay?

Great Lakes Outdoor Cinema does not collect your licensing fee. You will be entering into a contract with the licensing agency and you will pay them directly. We will steer you in the right direction and explain how to get your account set up with them.

What types of movies can we show?

You can show most movies that have been released on DVD or Blu Ray. See the movie selection page for more details.

When will we receive the movie?

The DVD or Blu Ray will arrive two or three days before your event. A pre-paid return shipment label will be included in the box. The licensing company will request that you ship the movie back to them on the next business day.

Can we charge admission fees?

It depends on the details of your event. We recommend that you contact your film licensing rep at Swank or Criterion and explain your situation. Sometimes the cost of the license can change from a flat rate to a percentage of the total gate charges depending on how much you collect.