AMC Theatres has decided to reverse course and now require guests to wear face masks when they attend the company’s theaters.

“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 advisers, 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.”

Guests are encouraged to bring their own masks. Anyone without a mask can purchase one for $1.

“Those who are unwilling to wear a mask will not be admitted or allowed to stay,” the company said.

The reversal comes about 24 hours after the company announced its reopening plans, which did not require guests to wear masks despite the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 spikes around the country.

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AMC CEO Adam Aron told Variety that AMC did not “want to be drawn into a political controversy” in regards to masks.

“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.”

On Friday, Alamo Drafthouse became the first major movie theater chain to require masks at its theaters, as I reported for the Deseret News. The chain announced the decision in a Twitter post.

“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.”

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