(LOS ANGELES) -- Less than 24 hours after initially declaring they wouldn't require moviegoers to wear masks when theaters begin reopening next month, AMC Theaters has now reversed its position.
In a statement to Variety, AMC notes their reasons for their earlier decision, and then declares, in part, "This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers. ...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."
Thursday, AMC President and CEO Adam Aron told Variety, “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary.” Also noting the different mandates for mask-wearing from state to state, Aron said, "We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy. We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary."
Even so, Aron noted Thursday that AMC employees would be required to wear masks, and that theaters would also sell them for a dollar to guests who need one.
The chain’s reopening plan also includes reducing its seating capacity to help with social distancing, implementing new cleaning procedures, installing hand-sanitizing stations throughout its theaters, and encouraging contact-less and cash-free interactions at concessions.
AMC is expected to reopen 450 of its 600+ locations on July 15 and to be fully back in business by the time Disney’s Mulan debuts on July 24, and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet hits theaters July 31.
By Andrea Tuccillo and Christopher Watson
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