What are “Film Clearances”?

What is “film clearance” in film distribution parlance?

Basically, although no one will admit to it, a theater that shows a film is told with a wink and a nudge, that no other theaters within a certain radius will be allowed to show the film. This can have effects either intended or unintended, depending on your point of view and goals.

Here are some links that relate to the experiences of the Senator Theater in Baltimore vis a vis film clearances:

  1. Senator can’t show Fahrenheit 9/11
  2. Charles Theater clears Senator, tables may turn with new Landmark opening
  3. Charles Theater denies (kind of, in the sense of “admitting” 🙂 ) that clearance exists
  4. The Senator’s explains its point of view

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