AMC Theaters made a big and dangerous mistake this week. The theater’s CEO said moviegoers wouldn’t have to wear masks when their theaters reopen next month. Thankfully, after AMC Theaters threw a pie on their face, the theater changed their policy.
AMC Gets it Right the Second Time
AMC CEO Adam Aaron put his foot in his mouth the other day. When speaking to Variety, Aaron dropped a bombshell of lunacy. Aaron did not want a “political controversy” by enforcing masks. As Aaron originally put it, he described ensuring public safety as “counterproductive if we forced wearing masks on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary.” A baffling statement. The coronavirus is not a matter of belief or opinion. Wearing masks right now isn’t up for debate. Facts are facts. And yet, AMC was initially going to cater to men and women who’d rather put their customers and employees at risk. But again, originally AMC somehow thought it was a political matter.
AMC Corrects Its Mistake
After a reasonable uproar to AMC’s policy, they have now backtracked on their decision. All moviegoers now must wear masks when their theaters reopen. Here’s AMC’s full statement:
At AMC, we have been consulting with top scientists and health experts to create a broad, sweeping, far-reaching health and safety effort to make AMC Theatres safe for our guests and associates when our theatres reopen in July. Among many elements of that comprehensive plan was a requirement for our associates all to wear masks nationwide, as well as a requirement for our guests all to wear masks in the many parts of the country that will require it. In those areas of the country where masks will not be required, we nonetheless planned to strongly encourage mask usage by guests, and fully expected that the vast majority would do so. That policy on guest mask usage, which is directly comparable with our major competitors and many other highly regarded retailers, was announced yesterday afternoon.
This 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. At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests. 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.
Part II Of AMC’s Statement/Damage Control
We will constantly monitor the scientific community’s latest thinking as to the efficacy of mask usage. We also will be looking at the varying health conditions in specific localities around our theatres all across the country. This will help us to determine what our mask policy will be as we go forward, as well as to make any other needed changes to this policy.
Guests coming to our theatres may bring their own masks of course, but for those who do not have one, masks will be available at our theatre box offices at a nominal $1.00 price. Those who are unwilling to wear a mask will not be admitted or allowed to stay.
Already, it’s hard not to cringe at the thought of men and women raising hell when they arrive at a theater without a mask and are denied entry. At the very least, AMC listened to reason and made it right. Now, Regal Theaters have joined AMC in requiring masks for anyone visiting their theaters. Originally, Regal Theaters and Cinemark said masks aren’t necessary either. After the response to the AMC debacle, Regal joined them on the right side of reason.
AMC Theaters will reopen their doors on July 15th.