Alamo Drafthouse will require guests to wear a mask while at the theater once the company opens its establishments.
“When we open, the safety of our teammates and guests cannot be compromised. This is not political,” the statement on Twitter read. “We will require that guests wear masks (except when eating/drinking). Those without masks will be given one.”
Alamo’s statement comes one day after AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said the company wouldn’t require guests to wear a mask because they did not “want to be drawn into a political controversy.”
However, on Friday, AMC reversed course and released a statement, saying, “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.”
Regal Cinemas and Cinemark also said in their reopening plans released this week that employees will be required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment, but the same will not be asked of customers unless local or state officials mandate the use of masks in public spaces. Instead, they will be encouraged to use masks, with AMC saying on Thursday that they will have masks available for $1.
These policies were met with backlash on social media.
“Enjoy not having the business of those of us who don’t see mask wearing as a ‘political controversy’ but as a necessary step to protect our loved ones,” tweeted film critic Dan Murrell. “I think this is an incredibly irresponsible stance.”
“[AMC, Cinemark and Regal] are buffoons and cowards at the expense of public health. I understand they need concession revenue, but there’s no excuse they can’t be mandatory entering/exiting,” added film critic Brendan Hodges.
AMC plans to open on July 15, while Regal is opening its doors on July 10 and Cinemark will open on July 17.
See the company’s tweet below.
More to come. Let's talk next week. pic.twitter.com/Kkfz1ZhV3f
— Alamo Drafthouse (@alamodrafthouse) June 19, 2020