In Your Corner: Seniors get “Friday movie day” taken away

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Lincoln Center offers Gloria Childs and other seniors a safe place to socialize.

“It's not a center to me,” Gloria said. “It's a part of my family.”

The seniors get together for movie day each Friday, at least they used to.

“They told us in our staff meeting that no more movies were allowed in our sites,” Site Manager, Roxie Caraway, said.  

The Oklahoma County Senior Nutrition Program puts on the activities.

They pulled the plug on movies at the Lincoln Center and 17 other centers after receiving a notice from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, demanding they stop playing movies without a license or risk paying a hefty fine.

“It's unfortunate people think we're pirating or whatever is going on with the movie industry,” Roxie said. “We do what we have to do.”

The letter's legit.

You've all seen the FBI warning at the beginning of a movie.

The U.S. copyright act says prerecorded videocassettes and DVDs can only be played for personal, private, home use.

When the movie gets screened to a larger audience, like at the Lincoln Center or at the historic Paramount OKC on film row, it is considered a public performance, which requires an extra license.

“We get a license to show movies done by studios on their list,” The Paramount OKC’s owner, Melodie Garneau. “It's an extensive list.”

She says The Paramount gets a discounted license through the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation because they do a "name your price" membership for movie goers.

“It makes it affordable for a small place like us or a private non profit organization to be able to show films, if it's a church or school or retirement center, that they could afford to do that,” Garneau said.

The movies at the Lincoln center are free, so they too qualify for a discounted license.

The thing is they can barely keep on the lights at the centers.

“We have to do a fundraiser just to buy one bulb,” Roxie said. “One of these bulbs cost $75.”

These seniors say the show must go on.

The In Your Corner team is in talks with the Motion Picture Licensing Company and potential donors to secure licenses for the centers. 

We'll let you know just as soon as we get the movies playing again.

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