AMC, Regal, and Cinemark will no longer require patrons to wear masks while seated in movie theaters as long as they are fully vaccinated. Aligned with CDC guidelines, masks will now be optional for guests who are inoculated, while remaining “strongly encouraged” for all others. For those moviegoers who aren’t vaccinated, the current rules remain in place, which state that you can only remove your mask when you are eating and drinking at your seat. Still, employees at those three of the nation’s top movie theater chains will continue to be required to mask up.
But the announcement also included that the theater chains will continue to enforce the COVID-19 safety measures already in place, such as reduced capacity and social distancing, and sanitization practices.
“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,” an AMC representative said in a statement. “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’s website states “vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance, the movie theatre industry will continue to meet or exceed state and local public health guidelines.”
The website continues, “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.”
Cinemark’s mask policy, according to its website, states that “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.” The website adds, “All employees are provided with proper face masks to wear and are required to wash their hands frequently.”
IndieWire has reached out to representatives at AMC, Regal, and Cinemark for comment.