Following nearly four months of forced closure, AMC Theatres announced that it is set to set to reopen 450 of its 600 total locations come July 15.
Despite the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the movie theater chain is going ahead with returning to business with new social distancing protocols. The safety measures include the blocking off of every other row and initially only allowing 30 percent of capacity at each show. Additionally, extra time in between showings will be enforced to ensure disinfection, imploring the use of online ticketing and kiosks, creating one-way foot traffic and employee protocols for face covering, temperature checks and screenings.
Partnering with The Clorox Company and working with Harvard University’s School of Public Health to figure out a way to make the theater-going experience safe, AMC Theatres aims to gradually increase guest numbers to half occupancy by Labor Day and full auditoriums by Thanksgiving.
But following its initial announcement, the public expressed outrage as AMC’s safety measures did not state that guests would need to wear face masks. Issuing a follow-up statement, the chain will also “require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks.”
Catch AMC Theatres’ latest statement regarding the reopening of 450 locations below.
“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 theaters, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theaters. 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.
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 theaters 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 theaters may bring their own masks of course, but for those who do not have one, masks will be available at our theater box offices at a nominal $1.00 price. Those who are unwilling to wear a mask will not be admitted or allowed to stay.
We also want to take this opportunity to express our great appreciation to our many guests who took the time to communicate their views. We will continue to listen and continue to monitor the changing nature of the coronavirus, adapting and adjusting our policies accordingly.”
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