AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., updated the policy requiring visitors to wear masks at its theaters.
On Friday, following social media backlash, AMC announced it would now require visitors to wear masks at its theaters when they reopen in July after previously claiming it would not be requirement.
“At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests,” CEO and president Adam Aron said in a statement. “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.”
Rival movie theater chain Regal joined AMC in changing its stance on face masks.
On Friday afternoon, Regal said that visitors would be required to wear masks at its theaters.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a safe environment for our guests and employees,” Regal spokesman Richard Grover said in an email to Spectrum News. “This is a change to our previous policy on masks based on feedback received from our customers.”
AMC’s initial policy on face masks faced criticism in particular following comments made by its CEO’s comments.
In an interview with Variety, Aron said the decision to not require masks was made to avoid “political controversy.”
With the update policy, visitors will be required to wear masks.
They can remove them, however to enjoy food and drinks. If visitors don’t have a mask, AMC will have disposable masks available for $1.
AMC said it plans to reopen 450 of its movie theaters across the country on July 15 ahead of Disney’s Mulan on July 24 and Warner Bros.’s Tenet on July 31.