AMC Theatres has now made it mandatory to wear a mask when they reopen next month. Major movie theaters have been closed since the beginning of the year and are planning their next steps for reopening. Cinemark came out first and said that wearing a mask will be encouraged, but not enforced, leaving the guest to decide. AMC followed suit, but quickly changed their stance after a massive backlash from the public.
Before announcing the new mandatory mask requirements, AMC explained their line of thinking for not originally going that way. They mentioned meetings with healthcare experts and they assumed that the public would end up wearing masks, even if it wasn't enforced. However, the public outcry on social media told them otherwise. They had this to say in a statement.
"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 masks. 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."
Things seem to change on a daily basis when it comes to businesses reopening across North America. Social distancing is encouraged and wearing masks has become a requirement while out in public in certain states like California. With that being said, things could very well change again in the next few weeks. AMC knows this and is continuing to monitor the situation. The explain.
"We will constantly monitor the scientific community's latest thinking as to the efficacy of mask usage. We also will be looking at the varying health conditions in specific localities around our theatres all across the country. This will help us to determine what our mask policy will be as we go forward, as well as to make any other needed changes to this policy. Guests coming to our theatres may bring their own masks of course, but for those who do not have one, masks will be available at our theatre box offices at a nominal $1.00 price. Those who are unwilling to wear a mask will not be admitted or allowed to stay."
Wearing a mask in public has become political. Healthcare experts are pleading with Americans to wear a cloth mask while out in public, while the Trump administration downplays the masks and the situation as a whole. Donald Trump even said that he believes that people wear masks to "signal disapproval of him." He then added that wearing a mask could spread things further because they cause people to tough their faces more than normal.
Donald Trump will hold his first rally since March in Tulsa this weekend where masks will not be a requirement. Indoor areas where large groups congregate is going to be a tricky situation moving forward, which is why AMC is trying to get ahead of everything. When it comes down to it, they need as many people coming in to see movies as possible. The Hollywood Reporter was one of the first to announce AMC's new mask requirement.