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Theatres and Amusements Regulations

made under Section 4 of the

Theatres and Amusements Act

R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 466

O.I.C. 2005-164 (April 22, 2005), N.S. Reg. 90/2005

as amended to O.I.C. 2015-336 (October 22, 2015), N.S. Reg. 343/2015


Table of Contents


Please note: this table of contents is provided for convenience of reference and does not form part of the regulations.
Click here to go to the text of the regulations.

 

Citation

Definitions

Expiration and transfer of licenses

Films

Prohibition of film

General character of film to be considered

Application of Sections 7 to 12

Submission of film for examination

Film classification scheme

Captions attached to classification

Certificate for classified film

No changes to classified film

Advertising to include classification and captions

Video Games

Video-game outlet to comply with age restrictions

Exemptions from Section 6A of the Act

Theatres

Theatre license required

Classes of theatre licenses

Issue and renewal of theatre licenses

Failure to comply with order of Fire Marshal or fire official

Theatre license displayed at entrance

Theatre license produced to inspector or peace officer

Copy of regulations available to public at theatre

Prohibitions for prohibited or unclassified film

Notice of film classification and age restrictions

Age restrictions for attending films

Theatre owner to ensure age restrictions complied with

No “Restricted” or “Adult” films exhibited at drive-in theatres

Equipment restrictions for drive-in theatres

Film Exchanges

Classes of film exchange licenses

Issue and renewal of film exchange licenses

Film exchange license produced to inspector or peace officer

Prohibitions for prohibited or unclassified films

Classification included in list of films

Film exchange age restrictions

Display of material depicting sex or nudity

Amusement Tax

Amusement tax collected by track operators

Schedule A: Fees

Table 1 - Licensing Fees

Table 2 - Examination Fees

Citation

1     These regulations may be cited as the Theatres and Amusements Regulations.


Definitions

2     In these regulations,

 

                (a)    “Act” means the Theatres and Amusements Act;

 

                (b)    “film exchange” means a film distributor or a film retailer;

 

                (c)    “film distributor” means a person who sells, leases, rents, exchanges or distributes film

 

                         (i)     for the purposes of public exhibition in a theatre, or

 

                         (ii)    to a film retailer;

 

                (d)    “film retailer” means a person who sells, leases, rents, exchanges or distributes film to the public, and includes a video outlet and a video-game outlet;

 

                (e)    “fire official” means a fire official as defined in the Fire Safety Act while acting as authorized under that Act;

 

                (f)    “Fire Marshal” means the person appointed as the Fire Marshal under the Fire Safety Act;

 

                (g)    “race track” means any place at which horse racing or harness racing is conducted and pari-mutual betting is permitted;

 

                (h)    “track operator” means a person who owns or operates a race track in the Province and who is in any manner the custodian or depository of money staked or deposited in the making of a bet upon a horse race or a harness race, either live or simulcast, whether such bets are made directly with the track operator or through an agent of the track operator; and

 

                (i)     “video outlet” means a retail establishment that sells, leases, rents, exchanges or distributes film to the public for consideration for use in a video cassette recorder, video disc player or similar device.


Expiration and transfer of licenses

3     (1)    Except as otherwise required by the Act, a license issued or renewed under these regulations expires 3 years from the date that it is issued or renewed.

 

       (2)    A license issued or renewed under these regulations is not transferable.


Films


Prohibition of film

4     The following are the criteria for prohibiting a film, performance or amusement under subsection 5(2) of the Act:

 

                (a)    it contains a graphic or prolonged scene of violence, torture, crime, cruelty, horror or human degradation;

 

                (b)    it contains a scene of physical abuse or humiliation of a human being for the purposes of sexual gratification or as being pleasing to the victim;

 

                (c)    it contains a scene of explicit and exploitive sexual activity involving a person who is under 18 years of age or who is intended to represent a person under 18 years of age; or

 

                (d)    it contains a scene depicting, in an explicit manner, indignities to a human body or an animal in an explicit manner.

Section 4 amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


General character of film to be considered

5     (1)    In exercising the Minister’s powers under subsection 5(2) of the Act, the Minister must take into account the general character of the film.

 

       (2)    When classifying a film, a film classifier must take into account the general character of the film.

Section 5 replaced: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Application of Sections 7 to 12

6     Sections 7 to 12 apply only to films other than video games.


Submission of film for examination

7     (1)    A film exchange or theatre owner may submit a film, together with the required fee, to the Minister for examination and

 

                (a)    a decision on whether the display, exhibition, sale, lease, rental, exchange or distribution of the film is permitted or prohibited; and

 

                (b)    classification of the film if the display, exhibition, sale, lease, rental, exchange or distribution of the film is permitted.

 

       (2)    The fee for examining a film under subsection (1) is as set out in Schedule A.

 

       (3)    The Minister may waive the examination fee required by subsection (2) if a film has been submitted

 

                (a)    on behalf of a film society;

 

                (b)    for the purposes of a limited performance;

 

                (c)    for the purposes of a film festival; or

 

                (d)    in connection with a charitable, educational, religious, community or cultural event.


Film classification scheme

8     (1)    When classifying a film under subsection 5(5) or clause 5(6)(a) of the Act, a film classifier must give the film a classification in accordance with the suitability of the film for a particular age group and the corresponding classification as set out in the following table:


Classification

Abbreviation

Age Group Suitability

General

G

Film is suitable for viewers of all ages.

Parental Guidance

PG

Film is not suitable for all children and parental guidance is therefore advised for younger viewers.

14 Accompaniment

14A

Film is not suitable for all viewers under 14 years of age.

18 Accompaniment

18A

Film is not suitable for all viewers under 18 years of age.

Restricted

R

Film is not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age.

Adult

A

Film is not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age because the sole or primary premise for the film is the depiction of explicit sexual activity, graphic nudity or graphic violence.

Subsection 8(1) amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.

 

       (2)    The criteria used to assess the suitability of a film for a particular age group include the following:

 

                (a)    the degree, frequency and intensity of coarse language in the film, as well as the context in which it is used;

 

                (b)    the degree, frequency and intensity of violence in the film;

 

                (c)    the degree, frequency and intensity of nudity in the film;

 

                (d)    the degree, frequency and intensity of sexual references, sexually suggestive scenes or scenes of sexual activity in the film;

 

                (e)    the degree, frequency and intensity of frightening or horrific scenes in the film;

 

                (f)    the maturity level required for the intended psychological or emotional impact of the film.

 

       (3)    A film that is classified as “Adult Accompaniment” on the day before these regulations come into force is deemed to be classified as “14 Accompaniment” on the day these regulations come into force.

 

       (4)    A film that is classified as “Explicit Material” on the day before these regulations come into force is deemed to be classified as “Adult” on the day these regulations come into force.


Captions attached to classification

9     When classifying a film under subsection 5(5) or clause 5(6)(a) of the Act, a film classifier may attach one or more descriptive captions to the film’s classification.

Section 9 amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Certificate for classified film

10   After a film has been classified, the Minister must issue a certificate for the film that specifies the film’s classification and any captions attached to the classification.

Section 10 amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


No changes to classified film

11   A person must not change a film, either by removing from it or adding to it, after it has been classified except for removing defective parts of a film to ensure the safe operation of the film.


Advertising to include classification and captions

12   When a film is advertised by a theatre owner or film exchange, the theatre owner or film exchange must ensure that the film’s classification and any captions attached to the film’s classification are prominently displayed in the advertisement.


Video Games


Video-game outlet to comply with age restrictions

13   (1)    A video-game outlet or employee or agent of a video-game outlet must not sell, lease, rent, exchange, distribute or otherwise make available any video game classified as “Teen” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board to a person who is under 13 years of age.

 

       (2)    A video-game outlet or employee or agent of a video-game outlet must not sell, lease, rent, exchange, distribute or otherwise make available any video game classified as “Mature” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board to a person who is under 17 years of age.

 

       (3)    A video-game outlet or employee or agent of a video-game outlet must not sell, lease, rent, exchange, distribute or otherwise make available any video game classified as “Adult Only” by the Entertainment Software Rating Board to a person who is under 18 years of age.


Exemptions from Section 6A of the Act

14   Section 6A of the Act does not apply to the following classes of video games:

 

                (a)    a video game that is made available solely for use in a place of amusement;

 

                (b)    an educational video game.


Theatres


Theatre license required

15   A person must not operate a theatre unless the person holds a valid theatre license for that theatre.


Classes of theatre licenses

16   (1)    There are 2 classes of theatre licenses, as follows:

 

                (a)    a Class A theatre license, which authorizes the holder to operate a theatre other than a drive-in theatre;

 

                (b)    a Class B theatre license, which authorizes the holder to operate a drive-in theatre.

 

       (2)    A theatre license held by a person on the day before these regulations come into force is deemed to be a Class A theatre license and remains valid until its expiry date.

 

       (3)    A drive-in theatre license held by a person on the day before these regulations come into force is deemed to be a Class B theatre license and remains valid until its expiry date.


Issue and renewal of theatre licenses

17   (1)    The Minister may issue or renew a theatre license.

 

       (2)    The fee for issuing or renewing a theatre license is as set out in Schedule A.

 

       (3)    An application for a theatre license or a renewal of a theatre license must be in the form prescribed by the Minister.

 

       (4)    The Minister must not issue a theatre license until the Fire Marshal or a fire official inspects the theatre and determines that the theatre is in compliance with the Fire Safety Act, the Building Code Act and any regulations made under those Acts.

 

       (5)    The Minister must not renew a theatre license until the Fire Marshal or a fire official determines that the theatre is in compliance with the Fire Safety Act, the Building Code Act and any regulations made under those Acts.


Failure to comply with order of Fire Marshal or fire official

18   (1)    The Minister may suspend or revoke a theatre owner’s theatre license if the Minister is advised by the Fire Marshal or a fire official that the theatre owner has failed to comply with an order of the Fire Marshal or a fire official.

 

       (2)    A theatre license that is suspended under subsection (1) remains suspended until the Fire Marshal or a fire official advises the Minister that the theatre owner has complied with the order.


Theatre license displayed at entrance

19   A theatre owner must display their theatre license at the entrance to the theatre.


Theatre license produced to inspector or peace officer

20   A theatre owner must produce their theatre license to an inspector or to a peace officer upon request.

Section 20 amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Copy of regulations available to public at theatre

21   A theatre owner must keep a copy of these regulations in the theatre and must make it available to the public upon request.


Prohibitions for prohibited or unclassified film

22   (1)    A theatre owner must not exhibit a film that is prohibited by the Minister.

 

       (2)    A theatre owner must not exhibit a film unless the film is classified in accordance with these regulations.

Subsection 22(2) amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Notice of film classification and age restrictions

23   (1)    A theatre owner must display a film’s classification and any captions attached to the classification in a place at the theatre where they can be seen by the public before they pay for admission.

 

       (2)    A theatre owner must display a sign at the theatre box office, and any other place, where admission tickets are sold, that sets out the age restrictions for each classification of film being shown at that theatre.

 

       (3)    A theatre owner must ensure that a website through which admission tickets are sold

 

                (a)    displays a film’s classification and any captions attached to the classification where they can be seen by the public before they pay for admission electronically through the website, directly or indirectly; and

 

                (b)    sets out the age restrictions for each classification of film being shown at a theatre for which tickets are sold.

 

       (4)    A theatre owner must ensure that a purchaser of admission tickets is notified of a film’s classification and any captions attached to the classification before they pay for admission by telephone.


Age restrictions for attending films

24   (1)    A person who is under 14 years of age must not attend a film that is classified as “14 Accompaniment” unless the person is accompanied by a person who is 19 years of age or older.

 

       (2)    A person who is under 14 years of age must not attend a film that is classified as “18 Accompaniment”.

 

       (3)    A person who is between 14 and 17 years of age must not attend a film that is classified as “18 Accompaniment” unless the person is accompanied by a person who is 19 years of age or older.

 

       (4)    A person who is under 18 years of age must not attend a film that is classified as “Restricted” or “Adult”.


Theatre owner to ensure age restrictions complied with

25   (1)    A theatre owner must not permit a person who is under 14 years of age to attend a film classified as “14 Accompaniment” unless the person is accompanied by a person who is 19 years of age or older.

 

       (2)    A theatre owner must not permit a person who is under 14 years of age to attend a film classified as “18 Accompaniment”.

 

       (3)    A theatre owner must not permit a person who is between 14 and 17 years of age to attend a film classified as “18 Accompaniment” unless the person is accompanied by a person who is 19 years of age or older.

 

       (4)    A theatre owner must not permit a person who is under 18 years of age to attend a film classified as “Restricted” or “Adult”.


No “Restricted” or “Adult” films exhibited at drive-in theatres

26   A theatre owner must not exhibit a film that is classified as “Restricted” or “Adult” in a drive-in theatre.


Equipment restrictions for drive-in theatres

27   A theatre owner must ensure that

 

                (a)    a central loudspeaker is not used at a drive-in theatre; and

 

                (b)    a screen tower is not placed so that a projection on the screen is visible from a highway.


Film Exchanges


Classes of film exchange licenses

28   There are 3 classes of film exchange licenses, as follows:

 

                (a)    a Class A film exchange license, which is issued to a film retailer;

 

                (b)    a Class B film exchange license, which is issued to a film distributor other than a film distributor dealing only in video games; and

 

                (c)    a Class C film exchange license, which is issued to a film distributor dealing only in video games.


Issue and renewal of film exchange licenses

29   (1)    The Minister may issue or renew a film exchange license.

 

       (2)    The fee for issuing or renewing a film exchange license is as set out in Schedule A.

 

       (3)    An application for a film exchange license or renewal of a film exchange license must be in the form prescribed by the Minister.


Film exchange license produced to inspector or peace officer

30   The holder of a film exchange license must produce their film exchange license to an inspector or to a peace officer upon request.

Section 30 amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Prohibitions for prohibited or unclassified films

31   (1)    A film exchange must not sell, lease, rent, exchange or distribute a film that is prohibited by the Minister.

 

       (2)    A film exchange must not sell, lease, rent, exchange or distribute a film unless the film is classified in accordance with these regulations.

Subsection 31(2) amended: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Classification included in list of films

32   A film retailer must indicate the classification of each film and any captions attached to the classification in any list of films that is made available to its customers.


Film exchange age restrictions

33   A film exchange must not sell, lease, rent, exchange or distribute

 

                (a)    a film classified as “14 Accompaniment” to a person who is under 14 years of age unless the person is accompanied by a person who is 19 years of age or older;

 

                (b)    a film classified as “18 Accompaniment” to a person who is under 14 years of age;

 

                (c)    a film classified as “18 Accompaniment” to a person between 14 and 17 years of age unless the person is accompanied by a person who is 19 years of age or older; or

 

                (d)    a film classified as “Restricted” or “Adult” to a person who is under 18 years of age.


Display of material depicting sex or nudity

34   A film retailer must ensure that all film containers, printed materials or film advertisements depicting graphic sex or full frontal nudity are

 

                (a)    displayed at a height of more than 1.8288 m (72 in.) above the floor;

 

                (b)    placed behind a barrier that covers the depiction, except for the title of the film;

 

                (c)    placed in a separate room that is not accessed by persons who are under 18 years of age; or

 

                (d)    displayed in a binder that is not accessed by persons who are under 18 years of age.


Section 35 repealed: O.I.C. 2012-306, N.S. Reg. 180/2012.


Amusement Tax


Sections 36 to 42 repealed: O.I.C. 2015-336, N.S. Reg. 343/2015.


Amusement tax collected by track operators

43   (1)    Every person betting under the system known as pari-mutuel must pay an amusement tax equal to 11% of the money deposited with a track operator or an agent of a track operator at the time the bet is made.

 

       (2)    Every track operator

 

                (a)    must collect the tax referred to in subsection (1) by deducting the amount of tax from the money deposited to make a bet before recording or applying the remainder to the bet;

 

                (b)    must keep the records and make the reports prescribed by the Minister;

 

                (c)    if authorized by the Minister, may retain all or a portion of the tax collected; and

 

                (d)    if required by the Minister, must remit to the Minister all or any portion of the tax collected.




Schedule A: Fees


Table 1 - Licensing Fees


Licence

Initial Fee

Renewal Fee

Class A theatre licence

$398.15

$398.15

Class B theatre licence (drive-in theatre)

$199.00

$199.00

Class A film exchange licence (film retailer)

$199.00

$199.00

Class B film exchange licence (film distributor)

$1393.30

$1393.30

Class C film exchange licence (film distributor dealing only in video games)

$696.50

$696.50

Schedule “A” Table 1 replaced: O.I.C. 2015-96, N.S. Reg. 162/2015.; amended: O.I.C. 2015-336, N.S. Reg. 343/2015.

 


Table 2 - Examination Fees


Film Submitted

Examination Fee

Theatrical release

$3.95/minute

Film for home use not previously examined or classified–Adult films and prohibited films

$3.95/minute

Film for home use not previously examined or classified–other than Adult films and prohibited films

$39.80/film

Schedule “A” Table 2 replaced: O.I.C. 2015-96, N.S. Reg. 162/2015.