Following big circuits AMC and Regal, Cinemark has reversed its face mask policy for guests as the chain plans its reopening from the COVID-19 shutdown.
“For the safety of our guests, employees and communities, Cinemark will require that face masks be worn throughout our theatres. Masks may be removed when eating and drinking inside the auditorium,” reads an updated Cinemark Standard safety policy on the chain’s website.
The updated protocol will be applicable to a majority of Cinemark’s moviegoers when the circuit restarts its phased reopening on July 24.
Initially, Cinemark had a policy whereby it would only enforce guests’ wearing of masks in those communities mandating it, and in those areas where restrictions had eased, the chain would encourage the wearing of masks.
“The health and safety of our employees, guests and communities is a top priority. As we closely monitor the status of COVID-19, Cinemark has opted to implement a nationwide policy that requires all of our guests to wear face masks while in our theatres. If a guest forgets his or her mask, Cinemark will have a select amount available at all of our theatres,” a Cinemark rep tells Deadline.
While five Cinemark multiplexes remain open in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area, the chain rescheduled its reopening plans this morning as many big exhibitors have done so recently given studios’ delaying their big theatrical releases like Unhinged, Broken Hearts Gallery, Tenet, Mulan etc. on account of spiking coronavirus cases across the nation.
The big circuits’ flexible policy on guests’ wearing masks reached a frenzy two weeks ago when AMC CEO Adam Aron said in an interview with Variety he wouldn’t enforce masks at those locations where restrictions had eased because he didn’t want the chain “drawn into a political controversy.” There was an uproar from moviegoers online about this, and the following day, AMC and Regal changed their policy so that all their guests nationwide wear masks.