This article is brought to you by Movie Licensing USA. Movie Licensing USA can help your group get the license it needs to show movies legally at school.


1. Getting a movie license sets a good example for the students.

Would you give teachers pirated software to use at school? Didn’t think so. Movies are no different. Do the right thing.

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2. Copyright is confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re the creator of the work, you’re good to show it wherever you want. If you’re not, you need permission (i.e., a license). (Learn more about copyright and find additional resources at


3. Your license works for any legal copy of the movie (rental, personal DVD, etc.).

Time to tap that parent with the home theater in the basement!

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4. It can pay for itself.

Make back the costs of the license by asking for a suggested donation for admission, by selling concessions, or by making your night a paid-dinner event with a movie on the side.

5. With an annual license, you get 24/7/365 coverage of your school building...

This means you can use that license for anything happening inside the building—from after-school to enrichment classes. Hey, you can even rent out the school building to other groups so they can legally show a movie!

6. ...and you can watch as many different movies as you want, as many times as you want!

Put on your jammies and pass the popcorn, it’s time for a movie marathon.

7. An annual license also gives you peace of mind for last-minute emergencies.

If the high school babysitters you hired for the PTO meeting flake out, don’t stress—just throw on the latest popular animated film.


8. Movie nights are a super way to build community.

Parents and kids snuggled up enjoying a fun flick on the big screen, repeating favorite lines all day at school for the next week. What’s not to love? (Psst—download PTO Today’s free Family Movie Night planning kit, with a timeline, theme ideas, promotional materials, and more.)

9. Can’t decide what to show? No problem. (See #6 above.)

New movies, old classics, and everything in between are fair game. Plan a book-to-movie night for separate grades, or hold a double feature pairing an original with a reboot.

Stevan Sheets/CC BY 2.0

10. Whatever your school’s needs, there’s a movie license for that.

From one-time licenses for first-time movie night events to district-level or statewide permits (or even if you want to take your movie night outdoors), Movie Licensing USA will help you figure out the right license for you.

Get the 411 on the most common questions parent groups ask, straight from Movie Licensing USA

Family Movie Night® is a trademark of School Family Media®.