‘Deadpool’ screening imperils UT theater’s liquor license

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 5:56 AM

The theater said the law is unconstitutional and has threatened to challenge it in Ct if the complaint isn’t dropped. Rocky Anderson, an attorney for Brewvies in Salt Lake City, said Monday the law violates free-speech rights and is so broadly written that even a film featuring Michelangelo’s nude “David” sculpture would be banned if alcohol was served at a screening.

‘Deadpool’ screening imperils UT theater’s liquor license

UT alcohol bosses have filed a complaint and will consider revoking the liquor license of a film theater it says violated a state obscenity law by serving drinks while screening “Deadpool,” which features simulated sex scenes.

The theater said the law is unconstitutional and has threatened to challenge it in Ct if the complaint isn’t dropped.

Rocky Anderson, an attorney for Brewvies in Salt Lake City, said Monday the law violates free-speech rights and is so broadly written that even a film featuring Michelangelo’s nude “David” sculpture would be banned if alcohol was served at a screening.

Utah’s Dept of Alcoholic Beverage Control filed the complaint against Brewvies Cinema Pub after three undercover state officers attended a screening of “Deadpool” in February.

Investigators cited a state obscenity law that's generally used to regulate alcohol and nudity at strip clubs, which are required to have dancers wearing G-strings and pasties if the club serves liquor.

The law also bans the showing of any film with sex acts or simulated sex acts, full-frontal nudity or the “caressing” of breasts of buttocks. It only applies to businesses with liquor licenses, so most UT film theaters, which are alcohol free, aren't cited below the law.

Brewvies, which has been open since one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, only allows people twenty-one and older to attend movies and serves food and liquor to customers.

The DABC has scheduled a meeting in May to discuss or possibly settle the complaint before further disciplinary action.

The agency’s Vickie Ashby had number comment Monday and said she couldn't speak to the following steps in the disciplinary process. She directed questions to the attorney general’s office and State Bureau of Investigation, which ran the undercover investigation.

Dan Burton, a spokesman for the UT attorney general’s office, declined to comment. The State Bureau of Investigation looked into the matter after the DABC sent it a compliant, according to Marissa Villasenor, a spokeswoman for Utah’s Dept of Public Safety, which oversees the investigative bureau.

Anderson said he'll challenge the law in Ct unless the complaint is dropped and UT stops enforcing the obscenity law. Anderson said his client should also be repaid for a $1.627 fine the theater paid five years ago when it was cited below the same law for showing “The Hangover Part II.”

Anderson, who provided a duplicate of the investigative report, said the fact that the film can be shown at other theaters nearby makes it clear UT executive are using liquor laws to limit First Amendment rights of free speech.

Anderson said the UT law is similar to an ID measure that lawmakers repealed this year after a theater sued after its liquor license was threatened for showing “Fifty Shades of Grey” while serving alcohol.

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