LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – AMC Theatres, one the largest movie chains in the U.S., announced Thursday it will reopen beginning July 15.
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The company reported that it will open 450 theaters on July 15, and then the remaining 150 by July 24, when the summer’s first big tentpole, “Mulan,” hits theaters.
AMC noted that its theaters will cap capacity at 30%, although in California, public health officials have limited capacity to 25% or a maximum of 100 attendees.
Initially Thursday, the company said that all employees must wear masks, but, guests would only be “strongly encouraged” to do so in states where it wasn’t required.READ MORE: Omicron COVID-19 Variant In Southland Sparks Concern Over Winter Surge
On Friday, however, AMC announced that, following “an intense and immediate outcry” from customers, it had decided to reverse course and require all its guests to wear masks.
“It is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks,” the company said in a statement. “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 theatres, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theatres.”
On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom Face announced that masks would now be required across the state for all indoor spaces visited by the public.
AMC last week reported a staggering $2.2 billion in losses since the pandemic began. Earlier this week, Regal Cinemas announced it would begin reopening its 550 theaters on July 10.MORE NEWS: Veterans' Voices: Steve Johnson
Hollywood has two big summer tent poles scheduled for release next month. Disney’s “Mulan,” which was originally set to be released on March 27, is now coming out in theaters on July 24. The release date of the Christopher Nolan film “Tenet,” which was to be released on July 15, was pushed back two weeks to July 31.