Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control filed a complaint against Brewvies Cinema Pub for serving alcoholic drinks on its “Deadpool” screening. They will also consider revoking the theater’s liquor permit.
Brewvies allegedly violated a state obscenity law when it served alcoholic drinks on its “Deadpool” screening. The complaint filed against the theater was made after three state officials acting as undercover attended the screening in February.
However, the theater believed the law is unconstitutional and they had threatened to challenge it in court if the complaint was not dropped. According to Yahoo News, the theater’s lawyer, Robert Anderson said that the complaint violated Brewvies Cinema Pub’s right for free speech.
Investigators had cited a state obscenity law which is usually used to regulate alcohol and nudity to strip clubs. The law also banned any film that features sex acts or simulated sex acts. It only applied to businesses with liquor permits. Most of the theaters in Utah which does not sell liquors were not cited under the said law.
Fox News reported that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control had scheduled a meeting in May to discuss the complaint. It could also be possible that it would be a meeting to settle the complaint before any disciplinary actions can be given to the theater.
Vickie Ashby from the DABC said that questions regarding the case could be directed to the attorney general’s office and the State Bureau Investigation as she could not speak more about the case. However, a spokesman of the attorney general’s office declined to comment.
Marissa Villasenor, spokeswoman for Utah’s Department of Public Safety said that the State Bureau of Investigation ran the undercover investigation on the complaint filed by the agency.
The theater’s attorney said the theater should be repaid for a $1, 627 fine that they paid five years ago when it was cited under the same law for showing the film, “The Hangover Part II”. He also provided a copy of the investigative report to The Associated Press and said that the fact “Deadpool” film could be shown at other theaters made it clear that Utah officials were only using the liquor laws to limit the First Amendment rights of free- speech.
He also likened the case to another theater that was sued when it featured “Fifty Shades of Grey” and also served liquors.