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Winter Garden Theatre v Millenium Productions

[1948] AC 173

Case summary last updated at 09/01/2020 15:17 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Winter Garden Theatre v Millenium Productions

P sold D a license to show plays for 6 months, including an option to renew the licence for another 6 months, and at the end of the second period, to renew their license at a set rate of rent which D could terminate after giving a month’s notice (no express provision about how much notice P would have to give to terminate the license). D exercised both options to renew the license and P terminated the license, requiring D to move out after a certain date and D refused, so P sued for possession. HL found for P, saying that the license after the exercise of the 2nd option was NOT perpetual, that P had to give a reasonable period of notice to D and that, on the facts this had been given.  
 
Lord Simon: “in the sale of a ticket to enter premises and witness a particular event… the implication of the arrangement, however it may be classified in law, plainly is that the ticket entitles the purchaser to enter and, if he behaves himself, to remain on the premises until the end of the event which he has paid his money to witness.” Hence there is no reason why injunctions/SP cannot be awarded in such a case. 
 
Lord Porter: the contractual licence for the purpose of doing an act or a series of acts was not revocable once the performance of a particular act had begun. 
 
Lord Uthwatt: "The settled practice of the courts of equity is to do what they can by an injunction to preserve the sanctity of a bargain. To my mind, as at present advised, a licensee who has refused to accept the wrongful repudiation of the bargain which is involved in an unauthorised revocation of the licence is as much entitled to the protection of an injunction as a licensee who has not received any notice of revocation." 

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