SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Actor Ryan Reynolds is showing his support for a Salt Lake City movie theater cited under a Utah obscenity law for serving drinks during a screening of his movie “Deadpool.”
Reynolds gave $5,000 to a fundraising website set up to help the theater called Brewvies with its legal bills on Sunday. He also tweeted out a story about the situation, writing “Thank god, they’ve found a way to legislate fun.”
A representative for Reynolds, who plays the title character of the foul-mouthed superhero film, confirmed the donation and that the tweet came from the actor.
Brewvies is facing a fine of up to $25,000 fine and could lose its liquor license after undercover officers attended a screening of Marvel’s R-rated antihero film “Deadpool” in February.
The state says playing “Deadpool” while serving booze violates Utah law because the movie includes nudity and simulated sex, including a suggestive scene in the film’s credits involving a cartoon unicorn. The obscenity law is generally used to regulate strip clubs, which are required to have dancers wear G-strings and pasties if the club serves liquor.
It also bans showing any film with sex acts or simulated sex acts, full-frontal nudity or the “caressing” of breasts or buttocks if at businesses with liquor licenses.
Brewvies is fighting the action in court, arguing “Deadpool” isn’t obscene and that Utah is restricting free speech, which is unconstitutional.
The case is slated to come before Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in May.
Brewvies has been open since 1997. Customers must be 21 or older. The theater serves food and liquor. In court documents, Brewvies lawyers said the theater “was coerced and intimidated” by the liquor board in 2011 to paying a $1,627 fine when it was cited under the same law for showing “The Hangover Part II.”
Utah’s law is similar to an Idaho measure that lawmakers repealed this year when a theater sued after its liquor license was threatened for showing “Fifty Shades of Grey” while serving alcohol.