Alamo Drafthouse has become the first national movie theater chain to require guests to wear face masks at the movie theater.

  • The theater announced on Friday that it would require guests to wear a face covering while at the theater except when they’re eating or drinking.
  • Guests who arrive without masks will be given one.
  • The theater said: “When we open, the safety of our teammates and guests cannot be compromised. This is not political. We will require that guests wear masks at the theater (except when eating/drinking). Those without masks will be given one.”

The theater promised there is “more to come” and plans to “talk next week” about the policy.

This means Alamo Drafthouse is the first national chain to require masks. Credit Suisse analyst Meghan Durkin released an analysis of all the health and safety policies for the movie theater chains across the country that found no movie theater chain required masks at their theaters.

Alamo’s decision comes less than 24 hours after AMC Theatres announced plans to reopen its theater chain. AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron said the chain would not require masks from guests because they did not “want to be drawn into a political controversy,” Variety reports. AMC later reversed course.

“It’s well-known that there are some parts of the U.S. population and some parts of the country that are resisting wearing masks even though the scientists are saying it’s a very good idea to do so. We didn’t want to step into that controversy. So what we’re doing is we’re encouraging people to wear a mask, but not necessarily requiring it.

“And I can tell you this, on July 15, when we start opening our theaters, I’m going to be going to a movie theater and on the very first day. I might go to a double feature, and you can be sure that I’ll be wearing a mask, leading by example.”

Aron said in an interview with CNN Business that the theater chain will increase social distancing, add seat limitations, add new cleaning protocols, create contactless ticketing and allow for mobile food ordering.

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