Apply for a Motion Picture Theater License

Do you want to show moving or still pictures in Grand Rapids? We'll walk you through the process of getting your license.

online

Find out if you need a license

You need a license for any building or part/area of any building designed to show moving or still pictures. This applies to pictures shown for commercial purposes, profit, or any type of private gain.

Organizations that Don't Need This lIcense

  • Any location that is licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission
  • Any bona fide education institution accredited by the State of Michigan
  • Any public museum or library if the motion picture is exhibited in a museum or library building
  • Motion pictures exhibited by a Michigan nonprofit corporation in a publicly-operated auditorium approved by the Fire Chief as a place of public assembly

Check your eligibility

Before you start operating your business make sure to check the zoning. Call the Zoning Department at 616-456-4100 to make sure the property's zoning is correct.

To get a City Motion Picture Theater License, make sure you don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

Unsure if you owe?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415

Gather your information

You'll need your business's Federal ID number to apply.

We'll also need some info about your ownership and executive staff. Make sure you have this information for all owners, partners, or corporate officers:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Last 4 digits of Social Security number
  • Driver's license or State ID number
  • Date of birth
  • E-mail address

Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Motion Picture Theater License Checklist(PDF, 179KB) for more details.

Have your Visa or MasterCard ready

There is a $480 application fee for new licenses. The application fee for renewals is $199. Application fees are non-refundable.

There's no extra processing fee to pay with a card online. We accept Visa and MasterCard.

Complete the online application

You can apply for your permit online. We'll collect payment at the end of your application.

Complete the Application in English

We'll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes.

We'll mail your license to you when it's ready. Make sure to display the license in a prominent location inside the business.

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.

paper form

Find out if you need a license

You need a license for any building or part/area of any building designed to show moving or still pictures. This applies to pictures shown for commercial purposes, profit, or any type of private gain.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT DON'T NEED THIS LICENSE

  • Any location that is licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission
  • Any bona fide education institution accredited by the State of Michigan
  • Any public museum or library if the motion picture is exhibited in a museum or library building
  • Motion pictures exhibited by a Michigan nonprofit corporation in a publicly-operated auditorium approved by the Fire Chief as a place of public assembly

Check your eligibility

Before you start operating your business make sure to check the zoning. Call the Zoning Department at 616-456-4100 to make sure the property's zoning is correct.

To get a City Motion Picture Theater License, make sure you don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415

Gather your information

You'll need your business's Federal ID number to apply.

We'll also need some info about your ownership and executive staff. Make sure you have this information for all owners, partners, or corporate officers:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Last 4 digits of Social Security number
  • Driver's license or State ID number
  • Date of birth
  • E-mail address

Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Motion Picture Theater License Checklist(PDF, 179KB) for more details.

Have your payment ready

There is a $480 application fee for new licenses. The application fee for renewals is $199. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:

MAILED PAYMENTS

  • Check
  • Money order

IN PERSON PAYMENTS

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)

Download and print the application

Fill out the PDF application and return it to us by mail or in person.

Download the Application in English

Mail or drop off your completed application

Make sure you have the appropriate payment ready. Refer to step 4 for accepted payment methods.

We'll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes.

We'll mail your license to you when it's ready. Make sure to display the license in a prominent location inside the business.

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.

phone

Make sure we're open

Our office hours are 8 AM - 5 PM, Monday through Friday. We are out of the office on public holidays.

Call us for instructions

You can find our number in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you all the information you need to apply for your business license.

in person

Find out if you need a license

You need a license for any building or part/area of any building designed to show moving or still pictures. This applies to pictures shown for commercial purposes, profit, or any type of private gain.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT DON'T NEED THIS LICENSE

  • Any location that is licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission
  • Any bona fide education institution accredited by the State of Michigan
  • Any public museum or library if the motion picture is exhibited in a museum or library building
  • Motion pictures exhibited by a Michigan nonprofit corporation in a publicly-operated auditorium approved by the Fire Chief as a place of public assembly

Check your eligibility

Before you start operating your business make sure to check the zoning. Call the Zoning Department at 616-456-4100 to make sure the property's zoning is correct.

To get a City Motion Picture Theater License, make sure you don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415

Gather your information

You'll need your business's Federal ID number to apply.

We'll also need some info about your ownership and executive staff. Make sure you have this information for all owners, partners, or corporate officers:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Last 4 digits of Social Security number
  • Driver's license or State ID number
  • Date of birth
  • E-mail address

Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Motion Picture Theater License Checklist(PDF, 179KB) for more details.

Have your payment ready

There is a $480 application fee for new licenses. The application fee for renewals is $199. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:

IN PERSON PAYMENTS

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)

Visit our office to apply

Visit us on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Our address is in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you an application and answer all of your questions about the process. Make sure you have your payment ready. You can see our accepted payment methods in step 4 above.

We'll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes.

We'll mail your license to you when it's ready. Make sure to display the license in a prominent location inside the business.

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.