AMC pushes theater reopening back two weeks
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AMC, the world’s largest movie theater chain, has pushed back its reopening plans by two weeks after several summer tentpole movies have delayed their release dates.

The theater initially planned to reopen the majority of its 600 U.S. theaters in mid-July but has announced a new target reopening date of July 30, according to Variety, with a goal of full operations resuming by early August.

The spikes in coronavirus cases in recent weeks have prompted Disney to delay its release of “Mulan,” already pushed back from March 27 to July 24, another several weeks to Aug. 21. Christopher Nolan’s thriller “Tenet,” which had hoped to keep its original release date of July 17, has also been pushed back twice, first to July 31 and again to Aug. 12.

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The theater chain is largely at the mercy of local coronavirus regulations as well. Its two biggest markets, Los Angeles and New York City, have yet to give theaters the green light to reopen, and some states that have allowed some larger indoor gatherings to resume, including Florida and Texas, have seen major spikes in the virus in recent weeks.

AMC also sparked an immediate backlash this month after CEO Adam Aron said the chain will not require face masks when theaters reopen, suggesting it was a political issue the company did not wish to wade into.

The chain reversed itself a day later, noting in a statement that the original 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.”

“We continue to devote extraordinary resources into our plan to operate our theatres with a hyper commitment to the safety and health of our guests and associates,” Aron said in a statement this week, according to Variety.