Dog Friendly Movie Matinee

Dog Friendly Movie Matinee takes an existing program offering and makes the setting more conducive for library guests to bring their dogs with them.

Advanced Planning

The goal of this program is to adapt an existing offering so that it is more accessible to library guests who benefit from their dog being involved. Each library programmer makes use of the public performance license to schedule showings geared toward different age groups.

Dates for these events are chosen 3 - 6 months ahead so that meeting room space can be booked. Movies are typically animal or dog-related and only PG-13 ratings and below are chosen. Title changes have had to be made when release dates get pushed back..


This event is marketed on the library website, event calendars, in house signage and social media accounts. We use Canva to create graphics with and without the movie title information based on the public performance agreement. 


We use SWANK to obtain a public performance license for the movies that we show. Along with the license, costs include purchasing a copy of the movie and snacks if provided. Choosing a movie you already own or not providing snacks can bring down the cost.

Day-of-event Activity

The set up consists of chairs with additional space left between for the dogs to rest comfortably. The number of participants will be based on available space. Our overhead lighting is on multiple switches which allows for some light to be left on and the movie to still be visible on the projector. This allows for guests to see where dogs are as they move through the space. Multiple staff are beneficial during set up but the program can be run by one individual.

Program Execution

Library guests attend these programs for several reasons. Some are there with an interest in the film being shown and may or may not bring a dog with them. We have also had pet parents bring their dogs more for the experience than a real desire to watch the movie. Average attendance is around 30 with fewer than ten dogs.

This was one of the first dog-friendly adaptions to existing program offerings we did and has been well received. It helped us identify some of the accommodations that are easily incorporated, like leaving extra space and trusting pet parents.


Choose snacks that are pet-safe and avoid things that contain chocolate. I have stopped providing dog treats but put out several water stations. Be prepared for possible accidents, most are easily cleaned.

Give pet parents the opportunity as they know the comfort level and temperament of their pet best. And check state and local ordinances related to pet programming in your facility.

Supporting Materials