AMC Theaters’ reopening policy has already changed a day after it first announced plans for a July resumption of showing movies in theaters in the United States. A day after its major announcement drew criticism because it would not require customers to wear a mask while watching movies inside, the company announced Friday that it would change course and make masks mandatory in theaters next month.
According to Variety and other reports, AMC revised its policy Friday and released a statement about the “intense and immediate outcry from our customers.”
“This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of mask,” the company said. “At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests. Accordingly, and with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy. As we reopen theatres, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theatres. The speed with which AMC moved to revise our mask policies is a reflection of our commitment to the safety and health of our guests.”
AMC CEO Aram Aron had initially said that the company didn’t “want to be drawn into a political controversy” when it came to wearing masks, deeming it “counterproductive” if customers did not want them. But the statement and policy ignored a wide variety of medical recommendations and studies that have shown mask usage can significantly limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease still ravaging the world as a global pandemic despite various municipalities attempting to “reopen” amid continued community spread.
Alamo Drafthouse announced Friday it would require masks, but Regal and Cinemark have said they will not require masks for patrons when they reopen. Employees, however, will be required to wear masks.