26 February 2008
The Avant-Garde in Minnesota
Image via Leisure Projects
updated 2:13 p.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 26, 2008
A creative way to get around the statewide smoking ban is spreading like wildfire around the state. Dozens of bars are expected to stage so-called "theater nights'' this weekend, in which all the patrons are dubbed actors. That qualifies them for a loophole in the state smoking ban, which permits performers to smoke during a theatrical production. Mark Benjamin, a lawyer who first had the idea, estimates 50 to100 bars around the state could hold theater nights this weekend. Officials with the state Health Department said earlier thisweek they were waiting for an opinion from the state attorneygeneral's office on the legality of the theater nights. State legislators who championed the ban said last week the loophole will likely be plugged.