The CEO of AMC Theatres, Adam Aron, said on Friday that its theaters will require customers to wear masks during their re-opening, which will begin mid-July. Customers who do not wear masks will not be admitted nor allowed to remain.
“We believe that it is absolutely crucial to listen to our customers,” said Aron. “It is clear from this response that we have not gone far enough in the use of masks.”
The chain a rival Regal has followed the example of AMC. The spokesman Richard Grover said Friday that moviegoers must also wear masks in all of its theatres.
AMC Theatres has not been the first to say that he would call the authorities on the question of the mask. This policy was identical to that Cinemark has announced earlier this month. Cineplex Inc., which has a 75% market share in Canada, said that they would leave the moviegoers to decide if they would wear a face mask to the inside of their cinemas. The spokesperson of the company, Sarah Van Lange, has stated that it takes the initiative of public health authorities, and provincial guidelines. She stated that the employees will have to wear masks.
Most major retailers require the masks to the clients only when local rules require it.
But the AMC has hit a nerve for many on Thursday and #boycottAMC quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.
The outrage was further inflamed by comments by Aron in an interview with Hollywood Trade Variety, which meant that taking a firm position on the wearing of the mask was a political question.
“We didn’t want to be dragged into a political controversy,” said Aron. “We thought that it might be counter-productive if we forçions the port of the mask on the persons who believe firmly that it is not necessary.”
He also said that he thought that “the vast majority of the customers of the AMC will be wearing masks” and that he plans to lead by example, and would be itself a mask.
The interview came the same day that California began to require that people from all over the State wearing masks in most indoor and outdoor environments when the distance is not possible.
While public health officials say that the wearing of a mask is important to help stop the spread of the COVID-19, do not wear has become a political statement for people who say that it violates their freedom or exaggerates the threat of the coronavirus. President Donald Trump has pushed the masks, even though the virus has killed more than 100,000 Americans this year.
Earlier Friday, the Alamo Drafthouse, which operates approximately 40 sites in the United States, said it would require that guests wear masks into its theaters, with a warning to eat and drink. Those who do not have a mask, he said, would be provided with a. AMC plans to sell masks for $1.
The majority of cinemas interiors in the u.s. have been closed since mid-march due to COVID-19. But the two sites are independent and the major chains are preparing to reopen in the next month.
AMC has announced that it will open 450 of its sites in the United States on 15 July, with the goal of having most of its theaters in operation by July 24, for the opening of the “Mulan” from Disney and “Tenet” of Christopher Nolan’s the following week.
The writer of business AP Tali Arbel contributed from New York. Robert Gillies contributed from Toronto.