AMC Theatres to Require Guests to Wear a Mask When the Movie Reopens

AMC Theatres announced that all moviegoers must wear a mask when the movie reopens on July 15.

AMC theatres wear a mask
AMC guests will wear a mask. FILE PHOTO

AMC Theatres guests will wear a mask when the movie reopens: One day after AMC CEO Adam Aron said he did not need masks as a way to avoid “political controversy,” the company changed and reversed itself. 

The country’s largest cinema chain AMC Theatres announced Friday that all moviegoers must wear a mask when the movie reopens on July 15.

Immediate change of heart

On Thursday, Aron told Variety, “We don’t want to get into a political controversy, we thought it would be counterproductive if we were forced to wear a mask on people who strongly believe it doesn’t matter. We think most of the AMC guests will wear a mask. When I go to an AMC feature, I will be wearing a mask, for example. “

The use of face masks, which the Centers for Disease Control say can prevent the spread of COVID-19, has become a polarizing issue. 

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Despite his administration’s recommendation, President Trump refused to wear a mask in or outside the White House. Those who agree with the president are choosing not to wear one as a stand for personal freedom. 

Others, including the scientific community, regard it as a civic responsibility. Masks are a small inconvenience that may protect our neighbours from the spreading coronavirus.

In a statement Friday to investors, Aron said his previous comments had triggered an unexpected setback. AMC customers called on the chief executive to take a stand on public safety.

“Accordingly, with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing the trend and changing our guest mask policy.

AMC’s reopening program

The Kansas-based movie chain AMC is set to reopen 450 of its 600 U.S. theatres on July 15. They require mask application, use sterile cleaning, and are less effective in accommodating physical distances. But a smooth reopening will be critical to securing the company’s future.

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During the shutdown, AMC reported a net loss of $2.2 billion. At the end of March, earnings fell to near zero. 

AMC, which has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that if the reopening did not go smoothly, there was “considerable doubt about its ability to continue for a reasonable period.” The restart will be an important test of the company’s resilience.


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