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"Only such films as are in the judgment and discretion of the board of censors of a moral, educational, or amusing and harmless character shall be passed and approved by such board."


Pennsylvania State Board of Censors, 1225 Vine Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Mrs. Edna R. Carroll, chairman; John Clyde Fisher, vice chairman; Mrs. Beatrice B. Miller, secretary.

"The board shall *** approve such films, reels, or views which are moral and proper; and also disapprove such as are obscene, indecent, or immoral, or such as tend in the judgment of the board, to debase or corrupt morals."


State division of motion picture censorship, 312 State Office Building, Richmond, Va. Mrs. Lottie C. Whitehead, chairman; Mrs. Russel Wagers.

The board shall issue a license "unless such film or a part thereof is obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, or is of such a character that its exhibition would tend to corrupt morals or incite crime. ***"



No local censorship boards, but State censorship.


Atlanta, Ga.-Milton G. Farris, chairman; Miss Christine Smith, secretary. Reviews some pictures, but not all. Board has power to cut or refuse showing entirely.

Birmingham-E. L. Hollums, chief of police, head of censor board.
Valdosta-Mrs. C. R. Hawke, Hotel Valdes, chairman.

Tampa, Fla.-Chief of Police Woodruff, made censor April 26, 1938.

Boston, Mass.-Mayor of Boston, chairman; David Nesson, censor. missioner and member of art commission compose censor board. complaints.

Police com-
Act on all

Brockton, Mass.-Mrs. Vida Stoddard, chairman. Appointed by the mayor to hold meetings each month.

Lowell, Mass.-Leo A. Deignan. Gets no salary but has full say as to showing of pictures. Appointed by mayor.

Lynn, Mass.-Joseph Coyne, inspector, police department. He was appointed by mayor of Lynn. Questionable pictures only previewed.

Providence, R. I.-Capt. J. Cowan, amusement inspector, retired May 1, 1953. The post of amusement inspector was abolished. Censorship is handled by the bureau of license enforcement.

Worcester, Mass.-Worcester Board of Motion Pictures and Theater Review. Police Chief William Finnerman, censor. Board composed of 3 representatives each from civic, welfare, and social organizations (organizations limited to 25). Report to chief of police any film suspected of violating board's standards. Buffalo

No local censorship boards, but State censorship.




Chester, S. C.-W. T. Betts, chairman. Not active. Mr. Betts said committee merely organized to keep exhibitors in line with decency.

Durham, N. C.-A. H. Borland, attorney, chairman. Censorship committee for Sunday shows. Mr. Borland merely talks over films for Sunday showing with the exhibitor.

Hickory, N. C.-City ordinance prohibiting midnight movies Saturday night. Greenwood, S. C.-Censorship committee appointed but never has been active. Chicago

Chicago.-City hall, Capt. Timothy Lynne (police department), William A. Foust, Mrs. Edith Joyce, Mrs. Beatrice McGill, J. F. O'Halloran, Mrs. Jeannette Van Volkenburgh, Sgt. W. S. White.

Evanston, Ill.-Censor board composed of mayor, chief of police, police officer, Incumbent, Miss Vera Everett.

Highland Park, Ill.-Ed. Morney, chief of police. Has censorship ordinance. Must have permit for all pictures.

Oak Park, Ill.-Thomas Hungerford, chairman: Mrs. Sidney E. Collins, vice chairman; eight additional members on board. President of village board appoints 1 trustee as chairman and 1 vice chairman (woman) to view all pictures before shown. They either reject picture or if a good picture not suitable for children, request that same be shown first of week when children are not likely to attend.

Lake Forest, Ill.-Names of censors not made public. Mayor makes final decision on doubtful pictures.

Wilmette, Ill.-Mrs. Robert Halliwell.

Ordinance provides that president of board of trustees censor pictures, but child welfare department of women's clubs asked to do work. They go over bookings and request pictures unsuitable for children not be shown over weekend.

Geneva, Ill. Three members, Mrs. Lucas Maher, chairman; Mrs. Marvin Freeman, Mrs. Edwin Benson. Appointed by mayor and approved by town council for 1 year. To review all pictures before exhibition.

Sycamore, Ill.-Has censorship ordinance.

Glen Ellyn, Ill.-Has censorship ordinance.

Waukegan, Ill.-Board of censors. Has censorship ordinance. Can demand preview of any picture not passed by National Board of Review.

appoints representatives from various civic groups.

Winnetka, Ill.-Has censorship ordinance.

City council

La Grange, Ill.—Censorship subject to approval of committee on public relations of board of trustees of village.

Des Plaines, Ill.-Has censorship ordinance.
Gary, Ind. Has censorship ordinance.


No local boards, but has State censorship. Cleveland

Mayor acts as censor.

No local boards, but has State censorship. Dallas

Motion Picture Board of Review of Dallas, Mrs. Roderic B. Thomas, chairman, classifies pictures each week for suitability as public entertainment. Has no censor powers. City charter provides for censor board but has been inactive for many years. Lawrence Milton, appointed city censor, 1946.

Houston, Wichita Falls.-These and other towns have replaced censor boards with PTA reviewing committees who seldom censor anything.

Abilene, Tex.-Two men and two women see pictures at regular showing. Seldom censor anything.

San Angelo, Tex.-Sam Crowthers, Crowthers Supply Co., censor, but never demands any corrections.

San Antonio, Tex.-Municipal censorship decreed by mayor, October 4, 1939.— Miss Marjorie Bantley of police department, classifies pictures for adults, young people, children, and family.


Denver.-Police department watches independent sex pictures closely, but does not censor general run of pictures.

Greeley, Colo.-Police department acts as censor. No complaints in long time. Des Moines

Council Bluffs, Iowa.-Censorship board, 15 members appointed by mayor from ministerial union, PTA, dramatic groups, theater manager, newspaper reporter (board inactive).

Waterloo, Iowa.-Mayor appoints board of five members. Detroit

Grand Rapids, Mich.-Local ordinance prohibiting the showing of undesirable pictures, but no censorship board is maintained.

Detroit. Sgt. Richard Loftus, head of police department's bureau of film and general amusement censorship. The censor board operates from a screening room in the film exchange building and make their recommendations for cuts in pictures to the exhibitor concerned. Edward Hicks, stage censor; Stanley Anderson, assistant.


Mount Clemens.—All films with PCA seal and approved by Detroit police censor acceptable but all other films to be reviewed by local censor.

Indianapolis (None.)

Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo.-A revised city motion-picture censorship ordinance was passed December 12, 1952, by the city council. The new ordinance does away with the necessity for screening each picture played in a Kansas City theater. The reviewer may give certificates of approval without reviewing in cases where the reviewer and the director of welfare accept the opinion of national accredited reviewing organizations. Newsreels are specifically exempted from censorship in the new ordinance.

Kansas City, Kans.-See "Kansas" under heading "State Film Censor Boards." Springfield, Mo.-City ordinance. April 19, 1940, mayor appointed city board of censors, consisting of 10 members. Mayor is ex officio member of board. Board to pass on all pictures to see if they are fit for public performance. Mrs. Harry Bissett, Will A. Lincoln, Mrs. Ed Ferrell, Mrs. E. J. Orr, Mrs. Marie Dieterman, Mrs. Leona Brown, Mrs. James Smith, Mrs. Hazel Mann, Mrs. H. A. Hinds, and Otis L. Barbarick.

St. Joseph, Mo.-Regina Garvey, chairman; Mrs. Paul Osborne.

Los Angeles

Pasadena.-Board of reviewers, Mrs. Arla Neale, chairman; George Schuler, secretary. Board provided by ordinance that theaters be obliged to obtain permit from this board before showing pictures. Have never banned pictures but suggest eliminations.

Glendale.-Mrs. A. L. Lathrop, chairman, city board of review.

Members have

police power and can stop showing of pictures if they see fit. Theaters not required to get permit.

Long Beach.-Has censorship ordinance but inactive.


Memphis.-Lloyd T. Binford, chairman, 1723 Peabody Avenue; Avery Blakeney, attorney; and Mrs. Walter L. Gray, Mrs. St. Elmo Newton, Sr., and Mrs. F. B. Edwards. Appointed by city commissioner. Members serve without pay. Board active. Board extended to cover Shelby County.

Pine Bluff, Ark.—Board created in 1930. Members appointed by mayor. Mrs. Albert C. Ernst, Mrs. Fred U. Dickey, Geo. C. Merkel, Andrew K. Matlock. Little Rock, Ark.-Ordinance passed in 1941. Board of censors consists of 24

members. Board is active. Gus Parsel, president (of board).

Knoxville (Tenn.)

Ordinance provides for committee of four to either endorse or prohibit any motion picture about which question is raised. Mrs. Leonard C. Bailey, PTA; Mrs. John Coulter, PTA; Mary Allan, policewoman; Milton E. Roberts, councilman; Mrs. E. M. Godfrey is chairman.


Milwaukee.-Commission consisting of 9 members and 25 aides. Supposed to be representative group taken from city population. Acts as advisory body with no legal powers. Mrs. C. Buckland, vice president; Mrs. E. V. Kluckow, treasurer; Herbert Drissen, executive secretary. Created by act of State legislature in 1913.

Madison.-Mayor's censorship committee.


In rare instances a committee will preview film. In cooperation with mayors of towns suggest it be not shown.

New Haven

Bridgeport.-Police department.

Hartford.-Captain Erghart, Connecticut State Police, State Capitol, Hartford, reviews all amusements.

New Haven.-Lt. B. P. Reilly, police department, head of license bureau and censorship.

New Orleans

No official censorship in district.

New York metropolitan area

Boards at following cities, for the most part consist of women's clubs: Bronxville, N. Y., Scarsdale, Tarrytown, Pleasantville, Westfield, N. J., Newark, Ridgefield Park, Tenafly, Nutley, Bloomfield, Upper Montclair, Orange, South Orange, East Orange, West Orange, Bernardsville, Summit, Morristown, Franklin, Little Falls, Newton, Paterson, Princeton, N. J.

Elizabeth, N. J.-January 9, 1940, city council passed resolution providing for 5- or 7-member censorship committee to be appointed by mayor.


Oklahoma City.-William Gill, Jr., city manager; J. F. Owen, chairman; Rev. Paul Wright, Virgil Brown. Practically inactive.


Mayor has censor power. pointed 2 women and 3 men.


March 22, 1938. Mayor revived board and ap

No local board, but has State censorship. Pittsburgh

No local board, but has State censorship. Portland, Oreg.

Portland. The members of the censor board have presented a resolution to the mayor that the board be abolished and its duties assumed by the police department. Pictures reviewed by board enjoying influence throughout State: Ted Gamble, chairman; Mrs. Thomas Joyce, executive viewer; Kenneth Cockerline, representing suburban theaters; Al Finke, first-run theaters; and five other members, Edward Weinbaum, chamber of commerce; Mrs. Maurine Hubbard, city hall.

Eugene, Oreg.-Police department has authority to censor pictures but rarely does. Corvallis, Oreg.-Same as Eugene, Oreg.

St. Louis


Salt Lake City


San Francisco

San Jose.-Mrs. Charles R. Williams, chairman, 275 South 13th Street. Entertainment commission-no particular power; meets and recommends pictures. Appointed by city council.

Palo Alto, Calif.-The Palo Alto City Council has voted unanimously to strip censorship powers from the city's 33-year-old advisory board on commercial amusements. The action removes the board's powers to order special previews on motion pictures or to ban showings or limit them to adult audiences (April 10, 1954).

Stockton, Calif.-A three-member film censorship committee was named by City Manager John C. Lilly (February 4, 1954). Authority for the committee is provided in an old ordinance giving the city manager power to appoint a censorship committee and to act on its recommendations.

Sacramento.-Censorship is provided for by ordinance. Pictures are reviewed at first showing in a local theater and findings are reported to president of board, acting in cooperation with chief of police. Mrs. Josephine Haug, president. Seattle

Seattle.-Charles C. Crickmore, chairman. Board of theater supervisors acts as censor board: Mrs. Ernest Kummer, Joseph Cooper, Mrs. Victor L. Nutley, Mrs. Francis Rogers, Mrs. Forrest Goodfellow, Mrs. Charles Miller, Jay DeFrill, Wm. Gaunt, Dave Himelhook.

Spokane.-Mrs. O. W. Young, chairman. Board inactive.

Bellingham, Wash.-Chief of police, chairman; personnel consisting of police matron, representatives of school board, PTA, and several ministers-changes monthly.


District of Columbia.-The nearest to a censor board is the police power in District of Columbia to order elimination of scenes or withdrawal of picture from screen, after it has been exhibited, if objectionable. Policewomen generally see pictures, also one of the district attorneys. Latter has final say.



Alabama.-Legalized by local option. Sunday shows in Mobile, Anniston, Ensley, Montgomery, Auburn, Demopolis, Dothan, Selma, Troy, Bessemer, Cullman, Jasper, Tuscaloosa. Sunday shows legalized for Jefferson County, including Leeds and Tarrant and Birmingham. Sunday closing in Camden, Greenville, Linden, Livingstone, Piedmont, and York. State attorney general rules Sunday films are legal in cities of less than 15,000 population.


No State legislation.


Legislature of 1931 passed law legalizing Sunday shows by local option. Legislature of 1939 passed bill legalizing Sunday motion pictures.


No State legislation against Sunday amusements.


Legalized by local option-law on statute books interpreted as prohibiting Sunday shows, passed in 1871, but some years ago case was appealed to supreme court of State, and decision rendered that law did not prevent operation of motion pictures on Sunday. No towns in State forbid shows by local ordinance, although some of smaller towns do not have Sunday shows. Connecticut

Local option throughout the State. Hartford and Danbury do not allow Sunday matinees, but theaters open at 5 p. m. State passed bill in 1937 permitting theaters to remain open Sunday night until 11 instead of 10:30. By local option 1945 legislation permits theaters to open at 1 p. m. and close at 11:30 p. m.


State blue laws repealed in 1941. Sunday films permitted by local option between noon and 6 p. m. and from 8 p. m. until midnight. Newark by referendum banned Sunday pictures in 1942.

District of Columbia

Theaters open on Sunday.


Legalized by local option. All large towns have Sunday showings. Key West in December 1946 enforced 1913 ordinance calling for Sunday openings after 6 p. m. and requiring theaters to pay 20 percent of net proceeds to local charity. Georgia

Does not permit motion pictures on Sunday. In spite of blue laws, however, Atlanta, Albany, Columbus, and Thomasville do show pictures. Savannah allows Sunday motion pictures between 2 and 6 p. m., and after 9:30 p. m., provided receipts go to charity. To serve war plant workers and servicemen theaters open in Marietta on Sunday from 1 to 7 p. m. and again at 8:54 p. m. Shows sponsored by Junior Welfare League which covers law that Sunday shows must be for charity. Legislature permitting theaters to open from 2 p. m. to 11:30 p. m. by local option, referred bill to 1946 session; took no action. Winder Cityhalf receipts of Sunday shows be given to city for operation of schools. Blackshear permitted American Legion to show Sunday pictures, but city council rescinded ordinance.


State law prohibits Sunday shows but upon signed petition of the majority of voters, presented to city council, question is submitted to voters of community and popular vote governs action of council. Practically every sizable town in State operates on Sunday.

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