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Utah: The "No Fun" State...
September 30, 2011 11:58 AM   Subscribe

‘The Hangover Part II’ runs afoul of Utah’s liquor laws.
posted by JeffL (45 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I sense that if a higher court got a hold of things like this, there would be valid constitutional questions. I suppose it's unlikely to get there while the fines are so small.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:04 PM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


‘The Hangover Part II’ runs afoul of Utah’s liquor laws and the sensibilities of thinking people and art lovers everywhere.
posted by peacay at 12:10 PM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Something like is also the law in Texas.

The Alamo Drafthouse already has a deservedly good reputation here on Metafilter. About 8 years ago, I went to a midnight showing of some schlocky retro-porn there. Before the movie started, someone on the Alamo's staff came out and explained that state laws prohibit the showing of pornography in establishments serving alcohol (or something along those lines). It was something the Alamo had only learned at the last minute themselves. So they showed the 4 minutes of the movie that didn't feature any porn, and then showed an awful Danish dwarfsploitation movie instead.
posted by adamrice at 12:16 PM on September 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Scenes that ran afoul of Utah’s liquor laws show full female, male and transvestite nudity.

So as an adult, you can drink, you can watch an R rated movie with nudity, but you can't do both at the same time? Who is this protecting? How does this make anything better or keep people safer?

"We had no choice but to cite Brewvies because liquor is served there," said Baird. "We had to go with what the Utah statutes say."

No, you didn't. You chose to enforce a stupid out of date law that fulfills some sort of puritanical need that would be considered laughable most other places, rather than do what everyone else does with dumb antique laws like this which is ignore them.
posted by quin at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


This is an outrage, my wives and I won't stand for such filth!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2011 [20 favorites]


About 8 years ago, I went to a midnight showing of some schlocky retro-porn there. Before the movie started, someone on the Alamo's staff came out and explained that state laws prohibit the showing of pornography in establishments serving alcohol (or something along those lines).

Huh, I saw some pretty terrible softcore there a couple weeks ago, and it would have been even worse without the booze. (Long story, terribly misleading blog post, etc.) I wonder if the laws have changed.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:25 PM on September 30, 2011


So as an adult, you can drink, you can watch an R rated movie with nudity, but you can't do both at the same time? Who is this protecting?

People with poor coordination?

You COULD put someone's eye out with that.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:34 PM on September 30, 2011


adamrice: "...and then showed an awful Danish dwarfsploitation movie "

For those of us unfamilair with the genre that want to test the waters with one of the better ones, could you recommend a few of the more critically acclaimed Danish dwarfsploitation movies?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:34 PM on September 30, 2011 [13 favorites]


If you read the article Utah cited a strip club first. Then the strip club said, "What about them? They're serving alcohol and showing naked chicks too!" That's the bigger issue here. What's the world coming to when strip clubs are ratting you out?

And to be pedantic the movie ran afoul of nothing. The fine wasn't levied against the movie, but rather the blokes showing it.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scenes that ran afoul of Utah’s liquor laws show full female, male and transvestite nudity.

Transvestite nudity? This seems difficult to achieve, seeing as by definition, a transvestite actually has to be wearing at least some clothing.
posted by Specklet at 12:43 PM on September 30, 2011 [13 favorites]


could you recommend a few of the more critically acclaimed Danish dwarfsploitation movies?

The even numbered ones are good, the rest are crap.
posted by kmz at 12:46 PM on September 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


"So as an adult, you can drink, you can watch an R rated movie with nudity, but you can't do both at the same time? Who is this protecting? How does this make anything better or keep people safer?"

All valid questions, none of which will ever be answered.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:56 PM on September 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


The even numbered ones are good, the rest are crap.

So Grumpy, Happy and Sneezy, then?
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:59 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who is this protecting? How does this make anything better or keep people safer?

it's basically an over-broad prohibition on strip clubs. It's sort of a odd corner of the law especially if you consider that the idea of serving beer with a movie - which is not really all that revolutionary - has really only been happening over the last few years. The Alamo Drafthouse only oppened in '97 apparently.
posted by GuyZero at 1:02 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Slack-a-gog: I'm afraid I'm not sufficiently steeped in the dwarfsploitation genre to make any recommendations, but FWIW the movie we saw was Sinful Dwarf.

restles nomad—Maybe the laws have changed, maybe the softcore you saw didn't violate the law…? The showing I attended was in 2003.
posted by adamrice at 1:05 PM on September 30, 2011


Scenes that ran afoul of Utah’s liquor laws show full female, male and transvestite nudity. Other culpable scenes show the photo of a sex act in the movie’s credits, and a monkey chewing on a plastic water bottle strategically placed beneath a monk’s robes, state officials said.

§ 4.3, Sub-Sec. 2.8, Paragraph 8:
Whereas the protection of public decency is of the utmost concern, all monks shall be clothed in the robes of their custom at all times; no monkeys shall approach.
posted by odinsdream at 1:13 PM on September 30, 2011


This problem arose because of blending existing statutes regarding nudity and alcohol. A while back, to penalize full nudity strip clubs the state legislature changed the laws to permit either a full alcohol license (as opposed to a beer only one) or full nudity. Since Brewvies (a great place btw) had the full license they were not allowed to engage in full nude acts. Apparently Hangover 2 qualified as a full nude act. I don't love these laws but that's the down and out of it.
posted by msbutah at 1:15 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, you didn't. You chose to enforce a stupid out of date law

Actually, it sounds like they were ignoring it just fine, until a strip club basically called the state out for letting the movie theater 'get away' with something that the strip club wasn't allowed to. So the movie theater got dinged, even though I suspect what the strip club is being prevented from doing (showing porn) is actually more what the statute is supposed to curtail.

I guess they could have just told the strip club to suck wind, but then they might have opened themselves up to a lawsuit for enforcing the law selectively.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


that the idea of serving beer with a movie - which is not really all that revolutionary - has really only been happening over the last few years.

I remember a theatre in Columbus, OH that did that years ago when I was in college. Can't remember the name, but it was East of High St. on 3rd or Indianola or some such street. Celebrated my 21st birthday there, and I'm 53 now. I'm sure they showed late 70's R movies there, maybe weird midnight movie stuff like Pink Flamingos or Flesh Gordon also.
posted by Mcable at 1:30 PM on September 30, 2011


a transvestite actually has to be wearing at least some clothing.

She is. But it doesn't cover her whang.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:36 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm shocked the U.S. has not yet invented a crazy christian cult that makes drunken bondage a sacrament.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:42 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yet.

::puts on gimp suit, drinks fifth, goes out to knock on some doors for Jesus::
posted by quin at 1:52 PM on September 30, 2011


She is. But it doesn't cover her whang.

Ah. Clearly I haven't got much of an imagination, but I can now not un-imagine a wang + (open) negligee.
posted by Specklet at 1:54 PM on September 30, 2011


MetaFilter: a wang + (open) negligee
posted by hippybear at 2:04 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


that the idea of serving beer with a movie - which is not really all that revolutionary - has really only been happening over the last few years.

I remember a theatre in Columbus, OH that did that years ago when I was in college. Can't remember the name, but it was East of High St. on 3rd or Indianola or some such street. Celebrated my 21st birthday there, and I'm 53 now. I'm sure they showed late 70's R movies there, maybe weird midnight movie stuff like Pink Flamingos or Flesh Gordon also.

Ditto. I saw Woodstock back in the 70's at an on-campus pub which served 3.2 beer. I'm surprised it's taken this long for the idea to catch on out in the "real world".
posted by fuse theorem at 2:08 PM on September 30, 2011


"I sense that if a higher court got a hold of things like this, there would be valid constitutional questions. I suppose it's unlikely to get there while the fines are so small."

The Constitution is actually quite clear on the issue. Brewvies Cinema Pub in fact violated the US constitution by transporting or importing intoxicating liquors into the State of Utah for delivery or use in violation of the law in the State of Utah.

"Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission here of to the States by the Congress."


Our Constitution lists quite a few rights citizens have and quite a few responsibilities that the government has, but only lists two things that you as a citizen must do. The first is not own people, the second is not violate your local liquor laws. Of course one of these makes sense.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:22 PM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I remember a theatre in Columbus, OH that did that years ago when I was in college. Can't remember the name, but it was East of High St. on 3rd or Indianola or some such street. Celebrated my 21st birthday there, and I'm 53 now. I'm sure they showed late 70's R movies there, maybe weird midnight movie stuff like Pink Flamingos or Flesh Gordon also."

I know that theater! Studio 35 on Indianola south of North Broadway, its still around and showing Rocky Horror every month.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:25 PM on September 30, 2011


I just saw Hangover2 on a plane. Fuck that movie. Everything that was hilarious, fresh and original on the first Hangover was reproduced verbatim to turn into dull, cliched and tired shit
posted by growabrain at 2:34 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Extremely misleading headline and post.

"Movie theater with liquor license violates Utah law by showing The Hangover II."

But then who the fuck would care about that, right?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:07 PM on September 30, 2011


Tomato, tomahto. The interesting part isn't "a movie theater got fined", it's "your local theater may be legally barred from showing movies with dicks in them."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:13 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm:

to test your distinction we could substitute an apropos turn of phrase Vonnegut was fond of

"wide open beaver violates Utah liquor law"

"strip club with liquor license violates Utah law by showing wide open beaver"

I think those pretty much mean the same thing.
posted by idiopath at 3:14 PM on September 30, 2011


I know that theater! Studio 35 on Indianola south of North Broadway

That's the one! Got food poisoning on my 21st birthday. Finished the evening throwing up (sober as a judge) in the bushes in front of the Ohio State Capitol. Ah, life was simpler then...
posted by Mcable at 3:47 PM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


...And, appropriately enough, tonight they're showing "Contagion".
posted by Mcable at 3:49 PM on September 30, 2011


something something Church and State.

Also filed under: If you don't like your laws, take a good look at who you're voting for.
posted by empatterson at 4:27 PM on September 30, 2011


"wide open beaver violates Utah liquor law"

"strip club with liquor license violates Utah law by showing wide open beaver"

I think those pretty much mean the same thing.


We'll just have to disagree. Movie theaters in Utah can still legally show The Hangover II without violating any liquor laws. Yes?

I'm not saying it's not a perverse law. I'm just saying I wouldn't care two shits about the story unless it's the movie itself that is illegal ... which the headline implied.

Phbbbbbt.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:36 PM on September 30, 2011


Some can. Others cannot. From what the article says, the laws apply to theaters that serve alcohol at all, not just ones that serve alcohol during the movie. So any theater with a liquor license can't show The Hangover II. Or The Crying Game. Or Airplane!.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:37 PM on September 30, 2011


"I'm surprised it's taken this long for the idea to catch on out in the 'real world'."

We're talking about Utah here, not the real world.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:04 PM on September 30, 2011


I'm shocked the U.S. has not yet invented a crazy christian cult that makes drunken bondage a sacrament.


Oh, buddy. I'm working on it.
posted by nola at 7:26 PM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have the pleasure of frequenting Brewvies and was disappointed to hear that they were getting hassled over this. I was always surprised that "the club" allowed them to exist - I guess they're rethinking that decision. They are also planning on eliminating hookah bars/lounges...
posted by _DB_ at 8:33 PM on September 30, 2011


So they showed the 4 minutes of the movie that didn't feature any porn, and then showed an awful Danish dwarfsploitation movie instead.

I bet you saw the dubbed version. Totally ruins the dialogue.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:18 PM on September 30, 2011


Can we now talk about what a horribly awkward name 'Brewvies' is?
posted by item at 4:57 AM on October 1, 2011


Can we now talk about what a horribly awkward name 'Brewvies' is?

I initially read this as Brevvies, which IMO is not bad. Not that it makes any sense ...
posted by krinklyfig at 8:23 AM on October 1, 2011


a transvestite actually has to be wearing at least some clothing.
She is. But it doesn't cover her whang.


I'm with Specklet..."transvestite nudity"? There was no transvestite in Hangover II. There was a [SPOILER FOR THE MASSIVELY, INSULTINGLY OBVIOUS] transgender woman stripping down, but dude, apples to apples. Words have meanings.

And it may not have been any good by any other measure, but as Thai vacation-scenery porn, H2 was A++.
posted by psoas at 1:21 PM on October 1, 2011


adamrice: "Slack-a-gog: I'm afraid I'm not sufficiently steeped in the dwarfsploitation genre to make any recommendations, but FWIW the movie we saw was Sinful Dwarf.

restles nomad—Maybe the laws have changed, maybe the softcore you saw didn't violate the law…? The showing I attended was in 2003.
"

OMG. I thought I was the only person alive who had sat through that. Please note I did not finish that sentence with any version of the word "sane" or such.
posted by Samizdata at 1:26 PM on October 2, 2011


You know it is just that Utah is still upset about not getting to be the location for Hangover I.
posted by srboisvert at 4:01 PM on October 2, 2011


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