Highland Council will take on the licensing of public theatre performances after the repeal of the Theatres Act in 2021.
Without the 1968 act, shows in venues like village halls would find themselves without public entertainment licences and unregulated in terms of health and safety.
Members of the council’s licensing committee passed a resolution to take on the licensing of these performances.
Some objectors said they were concerned about the costs and ‘unnecessarily restrictive burden’ on amateur theatre organisations and small amateur groups across the region.
Others said differences should be made between larger and small venues in order to leave scope for smaller productions to be financially viable.
Highland licensing committee chairman Andrew Jarvie said he too had initially had concerns about any cost or administrative burden on small groups.
He said: “But it became clear that because the act is being repealed altogether, such public entertainments would then be completely unlicensed and that would be wrong.”
Mr Jarvie said many venues including standing theatres, already have a public entertainment licence, and venues such as schools and sports grounds are exempt.
He said: “Shows in village halls would be primarily affected because under the new regime, groups would have to take a licence out for three years at once instead of annually as it is at present, but the cost per year will be less.
“The resolution now goes out to a further period of consultation and the licensing committee can still tweak it in the light of any further representations we receive.”