Movie Showing Guidelines

Drury University student organizations periodically hold events that are based around showing films on campus.

The showing of commercial films at Drury University is subject to the following guidelines:

  • Advertising must be restricted to the Drury community.
  • The student organization will ordinarily be responsible for the screening of films and for financial arrangements.

Public Performance Rights
Commercial films and videotapes/DVDs have copyrights that restrict the manner in which they can be shown. Two specific restrictions raise issues for students or student organizations wishing to show films on campus.

The first is more commonly an issue with DVDs but also applies to films as well. The first issue is "home" versus "public" viewings. If you rent a film or a DVD, you always have permission to show it in your "home" or residential facility.

The second issue is charging an admission (or viewing) fee. Charging always requires explicit public performance rights. If your organization wishes to show a film or DVD outside a residential facility and/or charge money, your organization must have an acceptable public performance rights.

There are several ways to obtain these rights:

  • Renting the film from a distributor.
  • Owning a copy of the movie that comes with public performance rights.
  • Getting written public performance rights from the copyright holder.

Movie Showing Guidelines
Any student organization borrowing commercial films must follow all copyright regulations.

  • If admission is charged, any surplus revenue will be used to further the educational goals of the sponsoring organization, as outlined in its Registration Agreement.
  • Organizations showing films must conform to all applicable city and state fire regulations.

Several major production and distribution companies, including: Columbia, MGM, Paramount, Orion, have given notice that arrangements to show their films publicly on university campuses can be made by calling Swank Motion Pictures of St. Louis at (314) 289-2102 (

All students who wish to show films under circumstances that are likely to be considered "public" are urged to call this organization to arrange for appropriate permission.

Please allow at least three weeks or more to arrange for a film showing. The greater the notice that you provide to the film distributing company, the greater the chance they will be able to supply the film that your organization wants on the date desired.