Washington Law Review


D. C. H.


Defendant Rabe, manager of a Richland, Washington, drive-in theater, was convicted under the state obscenity statute for exhibiting the film "Carmen Baby," a somewhat updated version of the Bizet opera, on a screen visible from an adjacent highway and from neighboring houses. On appeal, the Washington Supreme Court expressed doubt that the film was obscene on its face under prior holdings of the United States Supreme Court but declared that a right of privacy was "enshrined" in the United States Constitution. Asserting that exhibition of the film in an open-air theater from which it could be viewed by noncustomers constituted "an assault upon individual privacy" of nearby motorists and residents, the majority concluded that the film was constitutionally obscene as shown in this context and that the statute was constitutional as applied. State v. Rabe, 79 Wn. 2d 254, 484 P.2d 917 (1971).

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