Any public performance of a film exhibition is controlled by the Cinemas Act 1985. Under the Act all cinema premises require to be licensed by the local authority.
Films can normally only be shown if they have been classified and awarded a certificate by The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). However, the local authority can give permission for films that have not been classified by the BBFC to be shown.
Requests to authorise the showing of unclassified films normally occurs in the following cases - film festivals covering a specific period of time or a one off screening of a film.