Do you know your film ratings?

As you all well know, we show many films here at TAPE, catering for all different ages and audiences.

Most films are given a rating by the BBFC (the British Board of Film Classification) before the film is available to view by the general public.

The ratings system is fairly self-explanatory, but the difference between advisory suggestion and law can sometimes be a little confusing even more so with the fairly recent introduction of the ’12A’ classification.

So here is a little guide for all you TAPE fans and sofa cinema-goers, so you can know the law, read the advice, and make the best decision for you and your family when visiting the cinema.

The information in these guidelines have been taken from the BBFC – if you wish to read more about specific classifications, you can visit their website here.

  A U film should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over.  However it is impossible to predict what may upset a child.  Not all U films are specifically aimed at children but they may be rated U as they have no material that is likely to offend.  By law, a child of any age can view a U rated film.

PG Films rated PG are suitable for general viewing, but may contain scenes that may upset or be unsuitable for younger children.  A PG film should not distress a child of age 8 upwards.  Parental guidance is advised. Legally, a child of any age can watch a PG rated film.

12AAny under 12s wishing to see a 12A rated film must be accompanied by an adult. Films rated 12A are not generally advised for children under the age of 12.  It is recommended to visit the BBFCInsight website to see if the film in question is suitable for your child.  Children aged 12 and over may see a 12A rated film without and adult.

15By law, no-one under the age of 15 is permitted to view a film rated 15.  A cinema risks losing its license if it allows entry to anyone under the age of 15.  No theme in a 15 rated film is prohibited so long as the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds and that any dangerous or illegal behaviour is not promoted by the film.

18 No-one under the age of 18 may see an 18 rated film at the cinema. A cinema risks losing its license if it allows entry to anyone under the age of 18.  There are no prohibited themes in an 18 rated film, as adults are deemed as fit to choose their own entertainment within the law, however this means that there may be some themes tackled in the film that may be offensive to adults.



TAPE is now listed on the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema site!

TAPE Community Music and Film is now officially registered with the BFI as a community cinema!

BFI Neighbourhood Cinema is part of the BFI’s Film Forever programme. It aims to bring new film experiences to communities across the UK, no matter where they live. This website is the online home of BFI Neighbourhood Cinema. All community cinemas are welcome to register their cinema to join the nationwide BFI Neighbourhood Cinema community.

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BFI Neighbourhood Cinema supports new and established community cinemas all over the UK.

For many people in the UK, regular access to a cinema isn’t possible. There are many reasons why this might be – from living in a remote place, to the nearest cinemas being too expensive or not showing the films everyone wants to watch.

To help bring a cinema experience to more people, BFI Neighbourhood Cinema supports people in launching and sustaining community cinemas: regular film screenings in spaces such as community centres, village halls, or even local pubs.

BFI Neighbourhood Cinema is part of the British Film Institute’s Film Forever programme, which aims to boost the UK film industry through funding, education and bringing greater choice to audiences.

Working closely with organisations such as Cinema For All and the Independent Cinema Office (ICO), their aim is to ensure that every person in the UK can access film screenings near them.

Head on over to to view our page on the BFI website.