Published Jun 19, 2020Today, American theatre chains have been embroiled in controversy over whether or not they'll enforce mandatory face masks when they reopen their doors next month. As for Canada's big chain, however, Cineplex says masks will be optional.
Speaking with the Canadian Press, Cineplex representative Sarah Van Lange said that while all employees will be required to wear masks and protective equipment, it will be up to customers to decide whether or not they want to follow suit.
The conversation started when AMC chief Adam Aron told Variety that he didn't want to make face masks mandatory because he "did not want to be drawn into a political controversy." This followed news that fellow U.S. chains Regal and Cinemark would make the masks mandatory.
Since the story blew up, AMC has since changed its tune and made masks mandatory. Regarding the announcement, the American theatre chain released the following statement:
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 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.
Masked customers or not, Cineplex recently announced plans to open six Alberta theatres later this month before expanding across the country in July.
As previously reported, Cineplex is also dealing with the fallout regarding its deal with Cinework, which is attempting to back out of its $2.8 billion acquisition deal.