The UA Langham cinema may win a licence before the courts hear an application for an injunction against its unlicensed operation, it emerged yesterday, prompting calls for tighter laws. Legislator Fred Li Wah-ming criticised the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for its slow reaction to the cinema's unlicensed operation. 'It is likely that the cinema will receive a licence before the court order is granted. The department has wasted too much time, and public safety is at risk,' Mr Li said. UA Langham was still open yesterday and began selling tickets just 30 minutes after two fire officers inspected facilities. 'They should have filed the application once they discovered the cinema had been operating without a licence. They know it will take weeks before they can receive a court order,' Mr Li said. A department spokesman admitted it was possible UA Langham might receive a licence before a hearing into the injunction application scheduled for March 14. The cinema was prosecuted for operating without a licence in November, December and this month. The department only filed the court application yesterday. 'The cinema still has not submitted all required documents and certificates to the Buildings Department, so it is also possible that it will not receive a licence before the hearing,' the spokesman said. Senior station officer Liang Ka-po and his colleague arrived at the movie house at 9.30am to conduct an inspection. 'We came to check fire facilities, and we will further study and verify the information we have gathered,' Mr Liang said.