AMC Theatres unveiled its plan for reopening theaters while the coronavirus pandemic continues, with the company insisting it will have 450 locations fully operational on July 15. The company followed in Regal's footsteps by not making face masks mandatory, with AMC CEO Adam Aron claiming that mandating them would be a "political controversy." Social media pounced on that, noting they only created another controversy by not doing so.
On Thursday, AMC unveiled its "AMC Safe & Clean" plan, which limits seating capacity to 30 percent or less, includes "enhanced" cleaning procedures, adding social distancing reminders in theaters, and offering only popcorn and soft drinks at the concession stand. Only employees are required to wear masks. Face masks are only "recommended" for customers. "Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, available for purchase if desired," AMC's site notes. "In some municipalities, guests will be required to wear masks."
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended wearing face masks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and some states and localities have required residents to wear them, face masks have become politicized. Aron told Variety that if AMC required guests to wear a face mask, they could be drawn into a "political controversy." Aron continued, "We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask-wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example."
AMC has stricter standards about keeping Netflix out of their business than COVID— C.J. Prince (@cj_prin) June 19, 2020
AMC will offer masks to customers if they forgot one for $1. Cinemark and Regal are also not requiring masks unless state and local governments have required it. They are also looking to be fully operational by mid-July. Disney still has Mulan scheduled for release on July 24, while Warner Bros. is looking to release Christopher Nolan's Tenet on July 31.prevnext
My husband and I have AMC Stubbs memberships but will be cancelling them, thanks to your dangerous policy of no masks requirement.— Amber Sparks🪓 (@ambernoelle) June 19, 2020
Seriously! I miss movies like hell. No WAY I'm going into a plague box to see one. You're not even trying, @AMCTheatres— Dr. Jen Golbeck 💗💜💙 (@jengolbeck) June 19, 2020
AMC Theaters doesn't "Want to be drawn into a political controversy", so they've decided that the Covid-19 is over and you should go see #TENET and buy their $11 dollar popcorn and $6 dollar soda.
Well, I don't want to be political either... go f*ck yourself, AMC. pic.twitter.com/f3JcZ42qNf— SedricAndre (@sedric_andre) June 19, 2020
If you’re not requiring masks because you don’t want to be political, then you’ve made a political choice to endanger your customers’ and employees’ health and possibly their lives.
I won’t be joining you.— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) June 19, 2020