AMC, one of the main entertainment companies impacted by COVID-19, has finally announced its plans to reopen. This comes after months of rumors and reports the chain simply may not ever see the light of day again following the pandemic.
The chain is reopening 450 locations on July 15 with hopes to be almost fully operational by July 24 for Disney’s Mulan. The following week, Warner Bros. will release Tenet. The theater hopes to make a Hail Mary play and rack up enough cash from these releases to get out from under their current financial woes. The one thing that is still in the air, however, is if consumers will actually be on board with returning to theaters so early. To help ease consumer worries, AMC released its COVID-19 safety measures, which include not requiring attendees to wear masks, according to Variety.
AMC will not mandate that all guests wear masks, although employees will be required to do so. Nor will AMC perform temperature checks on customers, though it will monitor its employees’ temperatures and have them undergo screenings to check for signs of coronavirus. The situation will be different in states and cities that require residents to wear a mask when they’re in public, but Aron said that AMC was wary of wading into a public health issue that has become politicized.
“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” said Aron. “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.”
AMC also noted that they will sell masks at their locations for a dollar to anyone who wants to purchase them. They hope the majority of guests will wear them, but anyone who heads to theaters while the pandemic is raging across the U.S. probably doesn’t even believe it exists.