Regal Cinemas Makes Masks Mandatory Following AMC Theatres Backlash

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(Photo: Regal)

Everyone around the world wants movie theaters to open as soon as possible, but there's a difficult negotiation between prioritizing these reopenings vs. prioritizing public safety, with Regal Cinemas confirming that it will require all patrons to wear facemasks for the safety of audiences and staff. Earlier this week, AMC Theatres announced that it wouldn't require patrons to wear masks, which drew massive amounts of backlash from fans who know the importance of masks when it comes to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. While all theaters will be reopening with limited capacities, masks are another precaution that the general public is also encouraging.

“As related to our employees, guests will also be required to wear masks. Disposable masks will be made available as needed,” Regal shares on their website.

This is a similar policy they revealed earlier this month when they announced that the theaters aimed to reopen on July 10th, with a spokesperson of the chain offering an update on the situation.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a safe environment for our guests and employees. This is a change to our previous policy on masks based on feedback received from our customers,” the spokesperson shared with Deadline.

Complicating matters when it comes to movie theaters reopening is that the theaters themselves rely on concessions for its profits far more than ticket sales, as a majority of that money goes back to the studio. Wearing a mask while enjoying concessions is nearly impossible, with some theater chains making notes that masks will only be required in certain areas or that masks will only be required when not enjoying concessions. The question, of course, remains of how such policies will be enforced and if theaters themselves will be monitored to ensure patrons are upholding the policy.

Adding more complications to the matter is that some parts of the world and even some parts of the United States have started to ease various restrictions, with bars and restaurants allowing guests without any face masks. This initial reopening is surely experimental, but the outcry from the public has at least caused AMC to revise their policies.

“With the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy,” AMC’s CEO and President Adam Aron said today. “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.”

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Stay tuned for details on Regal Cinemas' reopening on July 10th.

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