By Abb Jones
The Reelness

In a sudden change of heart, AMC has reversed course, now saying face masks WILL be required in its theaters when they reopen next month. Friday’s announcement comes after intense social media backlash following news just 24 hours earlier that the three major U.S. movie chains – AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark – would not require moviegoers to wear masks to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

AMC Theatres CEO Aron Adam sparked the furor Thursday after telling Variety magazine that when his chain, the world’s largest, reopens 450 of its 600 movie theaters on July 15th, it will not require that customers wear masks where not required by law. The rest of AMC’s theaters are scheduled to reopen on July 24th, in time for Disney’s Mulan and Christopher Nolan’s spy thriller Tenet, two widely-anticipated summer blockbusters. Both Regal Cinemas and Cinemark have indicated on their websites that they too, will not require masks when they open next month.

AMC Theatres CEO Aron Adam

“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy. We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary.” – AMC CEO Adam Aron, during Thursday’s initial announcement.

Aron’s comments prompted a swift backlash on social media, with #BoycottAMC #BoycottRegal and #BoycottCinemark trending on Twitter.

There’s no word yet from Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, but given AMC’s change of position, they are expected to follow suit.







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