Pennsylvania Statutes Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses § 4116.1. Unlawful operation of recording device in motion picture theater

(a) Offense.--A person commits the offense of unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture theater if the person operates a recording device in the theater without written authority or permission from the motion picture theater owner.

(b) Theater owner rights.--

(1) A peace officer, theater owner or an agent under contract with a theater owner who reasonably believes that an offense under the section has occurred or is occurring and who reasonably believes that a specific person has committed or is committing an offense under this section may detain the suspect in a reasonable manner for a reasonable time on or off the premises for any of the following purposes:

(i) To require the suspect to identify himself.

(ii) To verify such identification.

(iii) To determine whether the suspect has any recordings in violation of this section and, if so, to recover such recordings.

(iv) To inform a peace officer.

(v) To institute criminal proceedings against the suspect.

(2) If any person admitted to a theater in which a motion picture is to be or is being exhibited refuses or fails to give or surrender possession or to cease operation of any recording device that the person has brought into or attempts to bring into that theater, then a theater owner shall have the right to refuse further admission to that person or request that the person leave the premises.

(c) Liability.--A theater owner or an employee or agent of a theater owner who detains or causes the arrest of a person in or immediately adjacent to a motion picture theater shall not be held civilly or criminally liable in any proceeding arising out of such detention or arrest if:

(1) the person detaining or causing the arrest had, at the time thereof, reasonably believed that the person detained or arrested had committed or attempted to commit in that person's presence an offense described in this section;

(2) the manner of the detention or arrest was reasonable;

(3) law enforcement authorities were notified within a reasonable time;  and

(4) the person detained or arrested was surrendered to law enforcement authorities within a reasonable time.

(d) Penalty.--A first violation of this section constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree.  A second or subsequent conviction is a felony of the third degree if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another violation of this section.

(e) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Motion picture theater.”  A premises used for the exhibition or performance of motion pictures to the general public.

“Recording device.”  A photographic or video camera, audio or video recorder or any other device now existing or later developed which may be used for recording or transferring sounds or images.

“Theater owner.”  An owner or operator and the agent, employee, consignee, lessee or officer of an owner or operator of any motion picture theater.


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