Legal Principles and Points
- It was held in Hurst v Picture Theatres Ltd  by the Court of Appeal that a contractual licence is unable to be revoked. It was also held that a contractual licence remains enforceable following a breach.
Facts of the Case
- C bought a ticket to the theatre.
- D, the theatre, believed that C had not paid for the ticket, and consequently removed him.
- C sued D, alleging that D had committed a trespass to the person.
- D argued that despite the revocation of the licence was a breach of contract, when the theatre removed C, the licence was revoked and therefore D was entitled to remove C.
Issues in Hurst v Picture Theatres Ltd  1 KB 1
- The issue that the courts had to decide, for our purposes, was whether the contractual licence could be revoked, notwithstanding it would be a breach of contract. They had to decide this in the context of whether there was a justification for the tort they committed in removing him.
The Court of Appeal Held
- The CA held that a contractual licence cannot be revoked, unlike a bare licence. Also, they held the defendant theatre company liable for the trespass to the person tort and determined that damages should be payable to C.
-  “It affirmed also that if there be a licence coupled with an interest or coupled with a grant, it is not, or at any rate in general is not, revocable.”
-  “I read these two sentences from the case of Wood v Leadbilter: ” A mere licence revocable; but that which is called a licence is often something more than a licence; it often comprises or is connected with a grant, and then the party who has given it cannot in general revoke it, so as to defeat his grant, to which it was incident.”
-  “Failing on that question of fact, they say that they were entitled to remove him because his licence was revocable. In my opinion, it was not. There was, I think, no justification for the assault here committed… I think that the appeal which has been brought before us, and which is founded simply upon the question of law which I have discussed at the beginning of this judgment, fails and must be dismissed with costs.