How To Secure Licensing for a Drive-In Event
Set-up is simple!
- Select a venue, date and movie. Film availability must be confirmed prior to any promotion. Some films are subject to event, location and/or date restrictions.
- Contact Us for a quote. Licensing is available on a per movie/per day basis and the fees are based on a few parameters, including number of cars, screening location, admission charge, and film selection.
- Submit an order form. We recommend two weeks' notice but can arrange a license in less time if needed.
- Promote your event to the community using our helpful promotional resources.
- Secure content for your screening. You can obtain your own DVD for your screening or we can send you a copy with a $30 round-trip shipping and handling fee.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What We Do
Who is Swank?
Swank provides movies and movie licensing to parks, recreation centers, companies, colleges, K-12 schools, public libraries and dozens of other entities that want to show films legally on their property using a drive-up format. We work with everyone from the best studios in Hollywood to the most innovative indie film companies to bring movie events to your community while keeping in mind that social distancing is a part of our current landscape.
Why do I need Swank’s services?
According to the Federal Copyright Act, copyrighted materials like movies can only be used for a public performance if they’re properly licensed. However, neither the rental nor purchase of a movie carries the right to exhibit it outside of one’s home. So how can you get your movie licensed for showings? That’s where we come in. Check out our copyright information to learn more.
Movies, Promotion & Audio
How do I determine what movies are available?
Some movies may only be available for certain screening scenarios. For your convenience, we created a list of popular titles available for drive-in events that will be provided to you by a Swank Representative. If you are interested in showing a film not on the list of available titles, additional approvals may be required.
How can I promote the event?
Once you have received official confirmation of your licensing through Swank, you are permitted to use the studio-approved images provided by Swank. Please note, these images may not be edited or altered and must include the © symbol and the studio name. These images can be accessed on our website by searching the film you plan to show and then clicking the movie poster.
Advertising movie showings via on-premises signage, websites, email, social media accounts or direct mail is acceptable.
These movies are specifically licensed for non-theatrical showings only. Advertising through media such as radio, television or newspaper is not permitted. If this policy is violated or your screening becomes openly competitive with a commercial theater, your movie(s) may be canceled without notice.
We ask that you do not proceed with promoting the event until Swank has confirmed your licensing is in place. Additionally, we ask you refrain from using the phrase “drive in” in your branding and promotions.
Who supplies the content (i.e. DVD) for my screening?
You may use your own copy of the film as long as it is from a legal source, such as a rental company, retail store or a personal collection. If needed, Swank can provide a rental DVD for an additional $30 non-expedited round trip shipping and handling fee. The DVD will ship to arrive at least two business days before the event. To ensure a flawless event, we always suggest you test the movie in its entirety on the equipment you will be using for your event.
How do I return a rental DVD obtained through Swank?
A prepaid UPS return shipping label will accompany the DVD that is shipped to you. We ask that you return the rental DVD the first business day following your event using this prepaid UPS label.
How does audio work for a Drive-In Screening?
Outdoor speakers or using an FM transmitter to create an FM signal the car radios can tune in to are the most popular audio sources.
How much does it cost?
Licensed movies are billed per title per day and depend on a few simple variables, such as estimated number of cars or attendees, the location of your screening, the film selected and whether or not an admission is being charged. Request a quote and a representative will be happy to help you determine cost.
Standard licensing is for a one-day showing unless otherwise agreed upon. You can add additional days at a discounted rate. Simply ask your Account Executive about discounts for multi-day showings.
How does billing work?
All minimum guarantee licenses require prepayment. We accept all major credit cards, purchase orders or ACH payments. If you plan to charge admission, a credit card must be kept on file and any applicable overages will be auto charged at the time of invoicing.
Can I charge admission?
If you charge admission, your total licensing fee will be the flat rate, or minimum guarantee, versus 50 percent of your ticket sales, whichever is greater. After paying the invoice for your event, you will receive an email with a link to complete an audience report within 48 hours of your event. Payment of the second invoice will be charged as noted above.
What if my show date changes?
All show date changes must be made in writing and received by Swank 14 business days prior to your event. Changes can still be made within 14 days of your event, however, please note that payment will still be due at the time of your original show date.
What if my screening is affected by inclement weather, equipment malfunction, etc.?
If any problems arise that prevent you from showing your film on your scheduled date, you have the option to reschedule the same movie within one year at no additional licensing fee. Please notify Swank the following business day so we can note the last-minute cancellation on your account.
Regardless of rescheduling, all invoices are due at the time of the original show date. Only freight will be charged for the rescheduled show date if Swank is providing a DVD copy for your event. All advertising and admission policies still apply to the rescheduled show.
How do I cancel my movie event?
Any movie may be canceled without obligation if Swank receives written notification 14 business days before the date of your screening. If notification is not received in this time frame, the full rental and handling charges must be paid. Invoices are due at the time of the original show date. You will have up to one year to reschedule that same movie at no additional licensing fee.