Movie liquor law previously overruled in...

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 19:22:34-05

Lawyers for the Village at Meridian say today the Ninth Circuit Court has already decided regulation of booze at the theater violates the First Amendment.

The Village Cinema is the target of a decades old law that's recently brewed controversy. The fuzz says a buzz at an erotic movie won't happen in Idaho and the theater got ticketed for serving booze to undercover cops watching “50 Shades of Grey.”

Idaho code says alcohol can't be served at movies showing sexually explicit actions. If you think that may apply to more movies than just “50 Shades of Grey,” you'd be in line with the Village's lawyers.

"Whether you like it or not, sexual themes are prevalent in mainstream movies,” said Preston Carter, an attorney for Givens Pursley representing the Village. “We've got a list in there – 'American Sniper,' 'Wolf of Wall Street,' 'Les Miserables,' and you could think back to 'The Godfather.' All would arguably violate the statute."

In its complaint the cinema says taking away its liquor license violates the First Amendment because it restricts the movies that can be shown based on their content. The Ninth Circuit ruled that way in a similar case out of California.

ISP seems content to let the courts decide the matter. In a release they say, "Alcohol Beverage Control is tasked with enforcing Idaho's alcohol statutes as they are written....whether or not the statues are valid is a question for the courts to determine."

The Village is asking ABC stop its efforts to revoke the liquor license while the court case proceeds.