Michele Williams of Eagle wasn’t planning to take advantage of Village Cinema’s cocktail menu. But a sign posted near a theater door last week was enough to drive any moviegoer to drink: “Idaho law restricts us from serving alcohol or allowing its consumption in auditoriums showing ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ ”
Spank me for the double entendre but – come again? Are we talking about the same R-rated erotic romance that set the February opening weekend box-office record of $85 million?
The booze ban irked Williams.
“I was not drinking or wanting to drink. I just found it odd that this movie was singled out. I just thought, ‘What year am I living in here? Women can’t control themselves when they drink during this movie?’ I don’t know what the message was.”
The message was polite but clear when Idaho State Police’s Alcohol Beverage Control contacted Village Cinema last month: If an Idaho theater serves alcohol at “Fifty Shades,” it might be breaking state law.
Here’s an equally polite if totally exasperated message right back at state lawmakers: Idaho’s prudish, remarkably bad alcohol statute needs to be tied up, blindfolded and dominated by someone with a brain. Combining rib- (not breast-) tickling body-part specificity with ambiguous breadth, the horribly penned Idaho Code 23-614 is an outdated mess. Among its preachings, it prohibits businesses that serve alcohol from showing any film containing sexually related material or basically any view of our naughty bits.