Have you heard about the novel coronavirus? It causes a highly contagious disease called COVID-19 that has claimed over 100,000 American lives. The wealthiest country in the world has apparently decided not to do anything about it — and AMC Theaters agrees!
AMC has rolled out its new plan for "reopening" its nationwide locations which, if I may sum up for you, is basically that the company does not care if you contract a deadly disease at a screening of Mulan just as long as you buy that $10 stale popcorn. “We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” said AMC CEO and president Adam Aron to Variety. “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary."
If you’re hoping that free market economics will provide a solution, competitors Regal and Cinemark have also decided that this will be their policy. Convenient! Medical science is apparently a matter of political opinion in the year 2020. Your mom's friend Karen can simply throw a fit and the virus will politely go away. Let's make sure to tell all the dead people that!
Stubs — AMC promises it will enforce social distancing by keeping open seats between guests during screenings (one on each side at their locations with reclining chairs, one on each side and your front and back at their locations with conventional seating) but this won't matter because you'll be trapped in a room with limited circulation soaking up the viral particles that are sure to circulate over the course of a 120-minute movie.
AMC also states that it will "encourage" online ticketing and wipe down theaters between each showing. Again, none of this will matter because you'll be trapped in a room with many strangers breathing whatever diseases they or their families have picked up into the air that will circulate into your lungs for 120 minutes.
The company has also stated that it'll sell masks to guests for $1, making it the cheapest thing it will offer by what must be a factor of ten. Again, this will not matter if guests are not required to wear said masks and instead spray coronavirus around a small room with little airflow for two hours.
Projections — AMC Theaters has asked guests to leave screenings for using their cell phones during the movie. AMC Theaters, after deciding to open during a raging pandemic, will not ask guests to do a simple courtesy — which would cut down the virus' spread by 49 to 86 percent . When AMC's guests opt not to wear a mask they are being allowed to make a decision that puts every other paying customer, not to mention the severely underpaid staff, in mortal danger.
Update: AMC Theaters has now reversed this policy, providing further evidence that protests work. "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."