(CN) – A Minnesota bar owner can’t circumvent a smoking ban by asking smokers to wear “Actor” nametags and claiming their smoking is part of an improvisational “theatrical performance,” the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled.
The Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) bans smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. One exception involves actors smoking on stage.
Thomas Marinaro, who runs Tank’s Bar in Babbitt, Minn., put on a daily “Gun SMOKE Monologues” event in which participants wore “Actor” nametags and smoked in the bar.
Police reviewed the performance in the form of a misdemeanor citation for violating the MCIAA.
Marinaro appealed the ticket by invoking the theatrical exception, but Judge Johnson gave him a thumbs-down.
“‘Gun SMOKE Monologues,’ in its objective manifestations, had little resemblance to a genuine theatrical performance. We doubt that ‘Gun SMOKE Monologues’ could be continuously performed from 3:00 until closing time, every day, indefinitely.”