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The Shack Movie
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Movie License Package
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Christian Films & Blockbuster Movies Public Licenses

Christian Films & Blockbuster Movies Public Licenses

Why You Need A Movie License

Planning to do a church movie night?

Then you need to know about The Copyright Act. Title 17 of the United States Code says that it is illegal to show a movie in any public venue, including churches, clubs, camps and schools* without a movie license. Even inadvertent infringers are subject to significant penalties (as much as $150,000 per exhibition — see Section 506) for doing a public showing without a proper movie license.

If you are planning to do a church movie night, it's important to note that many of the umbrella-style licenses do not allow you to promote your movie event using the movie title, characters or the producers in any external/public advertisement/publicity. In fact, many movie producers are moving toward a licensing model that allows churches to use their films as outreach resources, provides significant promotion for their film, and a larger share of the license revenues to fund new films in the future, like the licenses provided by Outreach.

At Outreach Films we've worked with producers to not only provide you with a movie license that allows you to show the movie for an entire year, it also allows you to promote your event by talking about the specific movie you will be showing. Plus, many of the films Outreach provides include web and social media graphics and even discussion questions. Some films also have coordinated promotional materials, small group curriculum or even sermons available for purchase separately so you can plan a church-wide event around your movie night.

So don't risk a hefty fine, get your movie licensed and then be sure to invite your whole community to join in on the fun!

Engage your church and your community in a whole new way with digital licensed films from Outreach! Movies are a universal communication tool, allowing you connect with audiences from every age group, culture and background. All Outreach films include the annual site-licenses required by law, allowing you to show the movie multiple times during the year to different ministries or audiences in your building. Some faith-based films also have coordinated sermon series, small group studies and invitation tools so you can create a full church-wide campaign around the movie's themes. Outreach offers blockbuster movies and licenses that have been carefully selected for messaging and content that is wholesome, faith-friendly and safe for a variety of viewers.

*Non-profit schools can show movies without a movie license for "face-to-face teaching activities" — the details of what is included under this exception are outlined in Section 110(1).

How To Host a Movie

5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Church Movie Night

Easy ways to make your church movie night a big success.

Looking for a new event idea? Keep reading about one of the most popular church events! Hosting a church movie night is an effective way to invite your community to come visit your church and get to know you. Movie nights are no-pressure events, and encourage people who might not otherwise attend to visit and find out what your church is all about. It’s also an impactful outreach to support your community with inspiring messages about God, love, family, marriage, and more. What makes for a successful church movie night? Here are some movie night ideas for you!

  1. Pick the Perfect Movie

    When deciding to host a church movie night, the first thing to determine is your theme. This will help you pick the right film. Are you planning a date night event? Choose a love-affirming romance. Are you looking for a simple night of entertainment and community? Select a movie that’s universally appealing and uplifting. Think about the needs of your community and work to meet them when selecting your film.

    Outreach allows you to browse by audience, theme and genre, so you can find the perfect film for your church movie night.

    Purchase a Movie License

    Did you know that copyright law requires you to purchase a movie license to screen a film outside the privacy of your home, even if you already own the film? There are big, expensive penalties, even if you screen a film without knowing a license was required. Fortunately, licenses are very affordable! You select your license based on your overall church attendance and they are good for a year from the date of purchase. Make sure you purchase the license before you advertise your church movie night.

  2. Share Your Church Movie Night

    Add your church movie night information to your promotional materials (posters, InviteTickets, and bulletin inserts). Show your congregation the movie trailer to get them excited to share the event with their friends and family. Create fliers and canvass your surrounding neighborhood with them, send out direct mail postcards, and advertise in the local paper so that everyone knows about your movie night. Create a Facebook event and encourage your congregation to share, share, share!

    A movie license from Outreach Films allows you to promote your church movie night to your community using film artwork, the title and the actors’ names.

  3. Make It an Unforgettable ExperienceMake It an Unforgettable ExperienceMake It an Unforgettable Experience

    Provide refreshments for your guests such as popcorn, hot cocoa, soft drinks, or candy. Use a projector to create a real theater-style experience indoors, or take your movie outside with blankets on the lawn. Consider renting out a local theater or other venue if your crowd will be extra large. Make time for mingling before and after the show, with designated greeters to help facilitate the activities. Remember, the more creative you are, the more likely people will be to attend. At the end of your church movie night, consider giving first time visitors copies of the DVD. Make DVDs of the movie available for attendees to buy so they can share the story with others.

  4. Manage All the Logistics Ahead of Your Event

    Preparation is key to ensuring a successful movie night. Test your movie event DVD on the equipment before the event to avoid any last minute issues. Recruit people to greet attendees and to facilitate discussions at the end of your church movie night. If you’re expecting a lot of people, make sure you have ample parking, clear directional signage, and adequate refreshments. Use your Facebook event’s RSVP feature. Also, don’t forget to share the Facebook RSVP option on all your promotional materials, like door hangers and direct mail postcards. This can help you get a reasonable estimate of attendance. After the film, don’t forget to thank your attendees as they leave!

    If you’ve been looking for new ways to connect with your community and reach out to the unchurched, a movie night is fun and engaging. With a little planning and a lot of enthusiasm, you can create a memorable movie night that might just turn one-time visitors into valued members of your congregation.

Why Host a Movie?

5 Reasons to Host a Movie Night at Your Church

There’s possibly nothing more American than a trip to the movies. Okay, maybe baseball and apple pie, but not much else. Since the 1920s, Americans have been flocking to movie theaters. And although early movies were created mostly to entertain, today’s movies also uplift, inspire, share the Gospel — and even serve as a form of outreach for your church. If you’ve never tried hosting a community-wide movie night at your church, consider these five reasons why you might want to plan one soon (and why you might need a new movie night banner).

  1. It’s a low-pressure way to get people into a church building

    Watching a movie at church isn’t the same as attending a Sunday service, but it’s a great first step. Because, honestly, what do many unchurched people fear about going to church? The unknown. If they’ve never been, they don’t know what to expect, and that can feel scary. Will they be judged? Stared at? Asked spiritual questions they don’t know how to answer? Where are the bathrooms? By showing up for something as casual as an evening movie, they can get a sense of what your church is like without all the stress. And when they realize church is actually a friendly, welcoming place with normal people just like them, well, attending a Sunday service might not be as intimidating.

  2. It works year-round

    Who doesn’t love watching movies outdoors when the weather’s nice? If you have the outdoor space and can get your hands on a projector, projector screen, and some speakers, then you have a beautiful movie night under the stars in the making. People will be happy to bring blankets and lawn chairs, or you can provide them if you have them. And when cooler temps roll around, head inside to an activity room or fellowship hall, or just the sanctuary, where you probably already have everything ready for a movie screening.

  3. It’s budget-friendly for moviegoers and churches

    Let’s be honest: Going to the movies isn’t the cheap date it used to be, and the high price of tickets and snacks keeps many people away. Back in the ‘40s, a ticket cost just 36 cents, or $2.88 adjusted for inflation. It was a bargain. Now, though, at an average ticket cost of $10 plus another $20-40 for snacks and soft drinks, taking the family to the movies is out of reach for many people. But a movie night at a church can recreate a similar dynamic at a fraction of the cost. You can make the event free and advertise that people should bring a picnic dinner or snacks to enjoy while they watch, or you can head to your local warehouse store and stock up on snacks and drinks, pop some popcorn, and sell it at all cost (which, at warehouse prices, will be dirt cheap for moviegoers). Setting up a fun little concession stand would make the experience feel even more special! And licenses to screen movies are very affordable – and usually provide you an entire year’s worth of viewing so you can show the film to multiple groups. If you already have all the tech equipment on hand, then that’s really all it’ll cost you.

  4. It creates a social viewing dynamic

    If you’ve ever been to a midnight showing of a new release or attended a viewing party for an annual awards show, then you understand the power of watching something in community. The anticipation and whispers as the lights dim, the collective gasps, laughs and sniffles. That shared human experience transforms a movie and heightens emotions, doesn’t it? Studies have even found that people watching a movie together in a theater sync up their brain activity and exhibit similar emotions simultaneously. That experience is certainly more fun than watching at home alone, on your couch, with day-old, reheated leftovers.

  5. It lets you show gospel-themed movies that might not be readily available anywhere else

    There are lots of great, gospel-themed movies (or even “secular” films that still point to God) out there that many people haven’t seen if the film was limited-release or if viewers just don’t have their finger on the pulse of Christian media. Many of those movies aren’t available on the most popular streaming networks, either. But by screening these films at your church, you’re giving your community the rare chance to experience them, and it’s a fantastic, low-pressure way to introduce the gospel. If you think your neighbors might be less likely to show up for one of those films, you could always mix in some family-friendly classics to your lineup (host a movie night series and alternate one Christian film with one classic crowd-pleaser), or offer a double feature one night.

Sometimes, movie producers will release a film for a church-event BEFORE the DVD or streaming services have access. These rare windows for exclusive showings are a perfect time to plan and promote a movie event because the people in your community can’t get the movie at home – it creates a sense of excitement and may draw more visitors to your church. For example, you can show the movie UNPLANNED in your church late this month (July 2019) even thought it won’t be in retail stores until August 13 – this movie is a great opportunity to host a movie night that could have a huge impact.

How a Movie-Based Series Can Grow Your Church

As a pastor, you’re always looking for ways to attract visitors, invite them to return, help them become believers and continue to grow and be active church members. It’s a big job but here is one way to kick start all these efforts: A church campaign launched by a movie night is one of the best ways to kick-start your connection to your community. Here is why:

  • Movies attract visitors:

    People love going to the movies, so hosting a movie night at your church is a no-brainer. Another plus is that a movie event is a lot easier than a church service for members to invite their friends and neighbors to. It’s not only non-threatening, it’s fun!

    Pair your event with fun refreshments, child care, and a few interesting discussion questions afterwards, and suddenly your visitors are having a good time, making friends and feeling more comfortable in your church!

    Pastor Stewart McWilliams, of Fellowship of the Rockies, saw success this way at his church’s two locations - he posted outdoor banners on the building and empowered his congregation with personal invitations promoting the church’s three showings of I Can Only Imagine.

    “We have had over 100 people come to the movie.” McWilliams said. “One of our deacons was so touched by the movie he went and purchased a copy and took it to someone who couldn’t get out.”

  • Sermon series keeps visitors coming back:

    By pairing your movie event with a new sermon series that covers the topics from the movie, your visitors will have a reason to come back on Sunday Morning. For example, show I Can Only Imagine on a Friday night and then let your audience know that you will be speaking on Sunday about forgiveness, reconciliation and God as our loving heavenly father...your visitors will probably be interested in hearing more. Plus they can sit with their new friends and have a free donut!

  • Small Group engagement is higher

    Finally, along with your sermon series, your church can launch small groups to really dive deep into the same topics and help each person apply what they’ve learned to their life. Keep the commitment short and easy - only for 4-6 weeks - and provide childcare. Now you have people who are regularly attending, connecting with new friends and learning more about God!

    “This is the largest group participation we have ever had for a fall launch. This is the first time all the groups at church, including men’s and women’s groups, are doing the [same] study [from I Can Only Imagine].” McWilliam’s reported.

    Try this combination of movies and teaching at your church to see if you have similar success. There is a great selection of film and study options available.

Average Weekly Church Attendance

To help make Movie Events more affordable, the price is based on the average weekly attendance of your church. If you are not a church, you will need to purchase a STANDARD Package or License (this includes schools, para-church organizations and other ministries not attached to a church). If you are a traveling ministry and you will do showings at different churches, you will need to buy a separate license for each location. If you have questions please call 800-991-6011.


  • Legal Copy: You obtain a legal copy of the movie.
  • Admission Charge: You DO NOT require an admission charge.*
  • Editing Restrictions: This movie IS NOT edited in any form, duplicated, or used for TV or Internet broadcast of any kind.
  • Full Screening: The movie is shown in its entirety and in its original continuity of subject.
  • Hosting: The showing is hosted by your paid staff and the movie is not loaned to another ministry or organization.
  • Venue: The showing is held in your own facility OR a venue outside of your facility that is officially considered an extension of your organization or ministry program. Additional venues not meeting these conditions require an additional site license.
  • Location: Your organization resides in the United States of America and you will only show the movie here.

*ADMISSION NOTE: If your organization needs to issue tickets to manage the number of attendees or recoup expenses, you may offer tickets clearly marked with a “suggested donation.” Charging an admission fee is a copyright violation and unlawful.

Advertising and Promotion

  • Resources: Advertising outlets and promotional resources can be viewed at
  • Guidelines: Follow the guidelines published with the materials and online. You may only make additions to artwork that reflect your venue and date information for the showing, your organization name, and contact information (phone number and/or website).

Promotion Limits:

  • Private mailings, web, and social media directed to your patrons are allowed.
  • Newspaper, TV, and radio promotion is prohibited.
  • Any advertising, publicity, or promotions conducted by a marquee, lighted sign, or large billboard that is reasonably expected to be seen by the public will not include the name of the movie. You may promote “Movie Night This Friday at 7 pm”.

Note: All rights to promote and/or exhibit content may be subject to revocation and/or cancellation if Outreach Inc. or the partnering studio considers an exhibition to be competitive with a commercial theater.


  • Materials: Reference your purchase confirmation to ensure you received the appropriate materials with your order. If anything is missing, please email [email protected].
  • License and Receipt: Keep this license and your receipt on file should any copyright issues be raised in relation to your event.
  • Movie Event DVDs: Keep the Movie Event DVD under close supervision. Additional copies will not be issued without a fee unless the DVD is defective.

License Renewal

You may renew this license annually at