Legislation Home›Education resources›Student guide›Timelines›Legislation Featured articles 1909 The Cinematograph Act arrives giving local authorities the power to provide or withhold licenses for cinemas in their region. 1912 The British Board of Film Censors is created by a burgeoning film industry as a means of ensuring uniformity for film classification decisions. 1932 The H certificate is introduced by the BBFC. H is an advisory certificate which tells the public that a film has a horror theme and is not suitable for children. History of the age ratings... 1952 As a result of changes to the Cinematograph Act, the X certificate is introduced. No children under the age of 16 are allowed to see an X film. This is the first mandatory age-restricted category. History of the age ratings... 1960 In the first famous trial using the new Obscene Publications Act, D H Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover becomes freely available for the first time in 32 years. The book is deemed art rather than pornography. 1970 The age limit on the X category is raised from 16 to 18. The advisory U and A categories are introduced along with the AA category that allows admission to those aged 14 and over. 1982 The BBFC rating system is overhauled with the introduction of the PG, 15, 18 and R18 categories. The first film rated PG is Return Of The Soldier. History of the age ratings... 1984 The Video Recordings Act (VRA) is passed and the BBFC becomes the designated authority for rating videos 'for suitability within the home'. The BBFC becomes the British Board of Film Classification. More about the VRA... 1989 Tim Burton's Batman becomes the first 12 rated film in the cinema. Children under 12 cannot view this in the cinema. This category is only available for theatrical releases. 1994 An amendment is made to the VRA in the wake of the Jamie Bulger case. The BBFC is asked to pay 'special regard to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers... or society...' in any given video or video game. 2002 Following an extended period of consultation, the 12 category for cinema is replaced with the advisory 12A. The first film to sport the new category is The Bourne Identity. History of the age ratings... Chart the key legal milestones that have informed the BBFC's role over the years. Share this!