AMC Theatres faces criticism for not requiring face masks

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AMC Theatres is under fire for its policy on wearing masks.

As movie theaters begin to reopen after being closed due to coronavirus restrictions, major chains like AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark have said customers will be encouraged but not required to wear masks, according to The Wrap.

AMC said it will require employees to wear masks but will only mandate that customers wear them in states or cities with a requirement for facial coverings.

“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” AMC CEO and President Adam Aron told Variety on Thursday. “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.”

Aron’s comments sparked backlash from a number of film critics.

“So instead of ‘a political controversy’ AMC will opt for an ethical catastrophe,” tweeted The New York Times critic A.O. Scott.

Symone D. Sanders, spokesperson for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, said she was canceling her AMC membership over Aron’s comment.


AMC plans to open 75 percent of its theaters on July 15 and the remaining 25 percent on July 24.

“All theatre associates are required to wear masks while in the theatre,” Aron told Variety. “All theatre associates will take their temperature and undergo a health assessment screening prior to their shift. If any theatre associate is found to have a fever or symptoms or self-reports a fever or symptoms, he or she will not work but will be compensated nonetheless.”

AMC theaters will also provide sanitizer and masks for sale, with facial coverings costing $1.

Tags Adam Aron AMC Theatres cinema Cinemark Coronavirus coronavirus lockdowns face masks facial coverings Joe Biden movie theaters REGAL CINEMAS The Wrap Variety

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