Cinemark Won’t Require Moviegoers To Wear Masks When Their Theaters Reopen

Movie theaters nationwide have been shuttered since around mid-March, but insiders have been cautiously optimistic that they could reopen by July. Will that happen? Will Christopher Nolan’s Tenet really be the first movie people see in an actual movie theater in four months? Maybe! Or maybe not. But whenever theaters do open, one chain won’t make wearing masks a requirement.

This comes from The Wrap, who reported that Cinemark discussed their plans about reopening to Wall Street analysts. And while their employees will be required to wear masks, it will only be recommended that the same extend to their guests.

“We have been intensely focused in developing enhanced health and safety protocols, understanding that these factors will weigh heavily on the confidence and peace of mind of our employees, guests and community as we reopen our theaters,” Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said during the call. “[We will be] requiring all employees to wear face masks and encouraging guests to do the same.”

When The Wrap asked Zoradi to clarify his language, he made it a bit more clear, saying, “outside of those areas where it is required by local mandates, Cinemark will be encouraging — not requiring — guests to wear face masks.”

Wearing masks, or some kind of facial covering, when outdoors, and especially when anywhere near other people, has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control since fairly early into America’s quarantine era. The idea is not so much to protect yourself but to protect others from you.

In the call, Zoradi discussed other ways Cinemark would be adapting to a changing world, saying they would also be looking into “seat buffering technology,” which would ensure that patrons are seated with enough space between each other — social distancing while reclining and watching a movie. They will also ramp up cleaning and sanitation measures, minimize physical interactions, and staggering showtimes to decrease crowds. The chain, which has over 500 theaters in the U.S. and Latin America, is scheduled to reopen on July 17. For now.

(Via The Wrap)