#Roommates, it’s been months since we’ve been able to go to the movies and many people are anxious to return—but AMC Theaters just announced its new reopening plans, which are alarming to say the least. AMC Theaters CEO recently confirmed that one of the specifics for reopening includes customers not being required to wear masks while inside theaters…despite COVID-19 still having a high presence in the U.S.
@Variety reports, AMC Theatres, the world’s largest movie theater chain, has officially unveiled its plans to reopen after being forced to close its more than 600 theaters for almost four months due to COVID-19. Although the company is expected to resume operations in 450 of those locations on July 15th—one of its new guidelines (or lack of guidelines in this case) has many very worried. AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron stated that when theater doors reopen, it will not be a requirement for customers to wear masks.
Aron explained his decision this way:
“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. 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.”
The other parts of the reopening, include AMC reducing its seating capacity in order to practice social distancing, implementing new cleaning procedures, placing hand-sanitizing stations throughout its theaters and encouraging contact-less and cash-free concessions.
Aron also stated that the reopening plans were well thought out:
“We didn’t rush to reopen. There were some jurisdictions in some states, such as Georgia and Texas, that allowed people to reopen theaters in mid-May. We opted to remain closed, so we could give the country time to get a better handle on coronavirus. We wanted to use this time to figure out how best to open and how to do so safely.”
AMC Theaters will increase capacity in stages. In the beginning, there will only be 30% capacity in each theater. That will increase to 40% and then 50% capacity. AMC hopes that it will be able to have half of its auditoriums full by Labor Day and projects that it will be at full capacity by Thanksgiving.
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