All three theater chains still require or “strongly recommend” masks consistent with CDC guidelines
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA- APRIL 17: The AMC Century City 15 during the coronavirus pandemic on April 17, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Due to COVID-19, AMC Theatres were forced to close all global locations in March. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
If you’ve been vaccinated, you’re no longer required to wear a mask at a major movie theater. The country’s largest chains, including AMC, Regal and Cinemark have all recently updated their mask policies on their websites removing the mandate for those who have been vaccinated.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, masks are still “strongly recommended,” with AMC specifically asking those who haven’t been vaccinated to continue wearing masks in accordance with CDC guidelines, with the option to purchase a mask for $1. And masks are still required if mandated by a state or local ordinance.
“Consistent with the latest CDC guidance and following consultation with public health experts, AMC Theatres guests who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings at AMC locations, unless it is mandated by state or local ordinances,” AMC said in a statement to TheWrap. “Guests who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing masks. All other aspects of the AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures, including seat blocking, remain in place at this time.”
Regal and Cinemark did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, AMC is far from alone in the change in mask policy, and both Regal and Cinemark reflect similar policies on their website.
“Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests. Masks are strongly encouraged for all other guests, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Masks may be removed when eating and drinking inside the auditorium. Except where required by local mandates,” Cinemark’s website reads.
“The CDC continues to recommend masks and social distancing for unvaccinated people,” Regal’s website reads. “Masks will not be required unless mandated by state and local guidelines. Where masks are mandated, they can be removed only while eating and drinking while seated in an auditorium. Employees monitor auditoriums throughout each performance as a standard practice.”
AMC last June was criticized when CEO Adam Aron did not immediately require masks, saying they “did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” before ultimately reversing the decision and requiring them at all theaters upon their reopening.
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