In a lawsuit involving state alcohol regulators, Brewvies Cinema Pub, and the movie “Deadpool”, Brewvies has scored a major victory.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Brewvies employees and attorney Rocky Anderson celebrated their court win, calling it "a major victory for the people."
Anderson praised the theater and its owner, Randy Miller, for challenging the statute at the center of the case.
"Our liberties are always going to be at stake. It’s people like Randy Miller and businesses like Brewvies standing up against these violations of our constitution that help ensure all of our freedoms," the former Salt Lake City mayor said.
The case began in early 2016 when the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) issued a warning to Brewvies for serving alcohol during the movie, which features nudity and a simulated sex scene.
The DABC said under a state law that prohibits liquor licensees from showing full nudity or sexually explicit content, Brewvies could be fined and have its license revoked.
The theater sued, claiming the law violated the First Amendment.
In a ruling issued late Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer agreed.
"The State has violated the First Amendment by bringing an administrative enforcement action against a mainstream motion picture theater showing an R-rated movie," Nuffer wrote in his ruling.
Brewvies was also fined under the provision when it served alcohol during the movie "The Hangover Part II."
The theater is celebrating its victory by inviting patrons to free screenings of films it had previously been cited for showing, including "The Hangover Part II," "Magic Mike XXL," and screenings of "Deadpool" on Sept. 8 and 9.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office, which represented the DABC, says it is reviewing the decision and hasn’t decided if it will appeal.