Cinemas are introducing “digital ID cards” to prevent children from watching sex and violence on the big screen. The UK Cinema Association, which represents 90% of cinemas, is accepting a new ID application from Monday 30 May.
It confirms a child’s age to counter staff based on a previously uploaded official document, such as a passport. The technology, developed by digital ID provider Yoti, will help cinemas meet their legal obligations to ban children from watching adult films and help young moviegoers prove their age.
The UK Cinema Association said it would be “safer and more convenient” and important identity documents such as passports could be left at home. He said it was a “modern solution” to help cinemas verify ages.
To get the Digital Age ID app, the person needs to prove their identity with a document such as a passport and then take a live photo to confirm. The digital ID card shows the verified photo of the individual and their age over 18, 15 or 12 years old.
Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, said: “Of the 165-170 million admissions a year UK cinemas were seeing before the pandemic, around 30% are in the 15-24 age bracket and around 20% in the 9-14 age group. Since the reopening of cinemas last May, these proportions are likely to be even higher.
“For many people who want to get into film with a 15 or even 18 year old certificate, proving their age – without a passport or driver’s license handy – can be incredibly difficult and an understandable source of frustration if they are turned away from the movies.This new partnership offers a simple and modern way to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Kelly Drew, Director of Operations at Cineworld Cinemas, said: “With an increase in recent years in the number of films rated ’15’ but with a wider appeal to young people, the question of proving age is becoming increasingly more difficult. Introducing the Yoti app as a reliable and robust means of verifying identity will support our staff, who are often the recipient of any resulting customer frustration.”
Robin Tombs, CEO and co-founder of Yoti, said: “Young people expect to be able to do everything with their phone and using it to prove their age will come naturally to them. It’s a win-win situation for cinemas. and young cinema – amateurs.”