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.
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.
Any 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.
By 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.
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.