Given that Deadpool was an R-rated ode to everything that family friendly superhero movies would not be allowed to feature, it made sense for some of the movie's adult viewers to watch Wade Wilson's (Ryan Reynolds) proper cinematic debut with a nice cold pint of beer. In fact, this is something the titular and notably crass Merc with a Mouth may even approve of.
But back in 2016, local officials in Utah filed charges against Brewvies Cinema Pub for selling alcoholic beverages to those who attended Deadpool screenings. Laws in Utah forbid establishments from serving alcohol during the screenings of films with "simulated sex or full-frontal nudity." Following the #Deadpool screening where the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) sent undercover agents to see if booze was being served to audiences, the department threatened to revoke Brewvies' license to sell liquor and fine the establishment $25,000.
Deadpool is notable for having a sex montage set to the tune of Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl," among other sex scenes. When coupled with the presence of booze, these screenings were more than enough to catch the attention of the conservative authorities.
However, Brewvies fought back, claiming that the DABC was impeding on its freedom of speech and its right to sell alcohol whenever they felt suitable. As the company said in its GoFundMe page that was set up to help finance their legal bills,
Brewvies was founded in 1997 with the purpose of providing a fun, unique atmosphere for adults 21 and over to enjoy great films, food and drink. Brewvies has never had a liquor violation, and has never shown obscene films.
For years Brewvies has dealt with the oppressive Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The DABC has threatened to fine us or suspend or revoke our liquor license, just for showing R-rated films like 'Deadpool,' 'The Hangover 2,' 'Magic Mike XXL' and 'Ted 2.' We are fighting for the State of Utah to respect our First Amendment freedom of speech.
The money that we are raising will go towards a legal defense fund to be used for legal fees seeking an injunction against the enforcement of a statute that violates our freedom of speech. If there are any funds left over from our legal battle, we will use the funds for a public celebration of our freedom of speech!
This is a fight that is important to all individuals 21 and over who cherish their freedom of speech. We are ready to fight back. We are grateful for any support you can provide.
The case even caught the attention of Deadpool star #RyanReynolds, who donated $5000 to Brewvies' cause.
A few days ago, Brewvies won after 16 long months, when U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer agreed with the theater chain's citation of the First Amendment. The judge even went as far as to impose a permanent restraining order that forbids the state and the DABC from "taking any kind of action against the theater for showing the R-rated action comedy." Nuffer had this to say about the case;
“Brewvies is no Playtime Theater. It is not the Pussy Cat. Nor Kandyland, or Teasers, or the Cajun Club, or Angels Sports Bar. Brewvies does not focus on sex. It shows the same movies that other, non-sexually oriented movie theaters show but with alcohol. It is not a statutorily defined sexually oriented business.”
While the state of Utah considers filing an appeal, Brewvies is celebrating by bringing back Deadpool and other R-rated movies to their screens over the weekend. Titled the "FREEdom Film Series," this quick film festival will serve as Brewvies' celebration and expression of gratitude to their supporters and loyal patrons following the landmark victory against the DABC's lawsuit.
Of course, beer will be served throughout the festival.
What do you think of this ruling? Share your thoughts in the comments below.