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Deadpool crashed into theaters this February, defying the laws of gravity, comic book movies, and moral decency. Strangely enough, that last claim became a reality recently as Utah movie theater Brewvies have found themselves in a bit of a legal firestorm, as they've shown the Ryan Reynolds film at their Salt Lake City location. The offense in running the R-rated thrill ride? It depicts sex acts and nudity, which legally can't mix with alcohol in the southern state.
The report of the "grave violation" came from local news affiliate, Fox 13, stating that two Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officers had taken part of a screening of Deadpool while undercover. Their reporting lead to the the movie theater being cited as breaking the DABC's laws against showing sexual content while alcohol is being served, and the theater will be involved in an administrative hearing stemming from the February 23rd viewing of the film. Should the hearing not work in their favor, the theater could lose their liquor license for at least 10 days, if not permanently; as well a face a fine, "ranging from $1,000 to $25,000."
Of course, this isn't the first citation that Brewvies has received for such an act, as The Hangover Part II's content landed them with a $1,627 fine – a fine that lawyer Rocky Anderson wants refunded to the theater, on top of the DABC's possible revocation of their Deadpool complaint. Citing the First Amendment implications of such a law's existence, Anderson seems ready to take the case further, should he need to. Now of course, the greatest distinction that has to be made in this case is whether or not Utah's laws against sex acts and nudity being present when alcohol is served stem from live performances in venues such as strip clubs. Should that be the case, Anderson could fight that the law should be amended to state a difference between live renditions of such content, versus that of a pre-recorded medium.
Still, however the law is written, Utah's provisions against alcohol and nudity could be dangerous precedent that is already being used against films like Deadpool when they seek to be shown in venues like AMC Theaters' Dine-In Theaters. If an area of the country finds themselves unable to show a film such as one that depicts the wanton adventures of Wade Wilson, while also allowing said venue to serve alcohol, it could provide harmful to a business venture that is trying to keep the theatrical experience alive. Not to mention, who wants to be stuck watching films that cap off at a PG-13 rating when they've got a taste for fine beer in their heart? Though we'd love to see what happens when alcohol is only limited to showings of God's Not Dead 2, if only to see the validity of this law truly tested.
However, citizens of Utah, if you're interested in watching Deadpool in the comfort of your own home, with a beer of your choosing, might we recommend you pick up a copy on Blu-ray or DVD on May 10th? Maybe pair it with a Killian's Irish Red, and make it a night.