Great news for those people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and also just liars, today, as AMC Theaters and several other major movie chains have announced that said patrons will no longer have to wear masks while in their theaters. This is per THR, which notes that anyone who has received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or who is just cool with lying their ass off and endangering the people around them, is good to de-mask while watching all the summer’s hottest films.
This latest move is in line with recent CDC guidelines that state the fully-vaccinated can safely stop wearing masks, and that people who want to lie about their vaccination status will probably also be able to get away with it. Previously, theaters required anyone not actively shoveling popcorn into their mouths to keep their masks on, so this marks a pretty serious step-down in precautions for the theater industry.
Per the THR piece, AMC, Cinemark, and Regal are all adopting the pro-mendacity policy, while also maintaining several other COVID-era precautions, including blocked seating. (It’s not clear at present whether temperature checks will still be followed, although those have, of course, always been something of a stopgap measure, given the ability of COVID-19 to spread despite a lack of symptoms.) Also, per the report: “AMC didn’t say that its locations would require proof of vaccination,” which, can you even imagine the hell of being the theater employee asked to enforce that? You’d spend the rest of your life showing up in Twitter videos, standing mutely while angry suburban assholes screamed spittle on you about their liberties.
AMC did note that these mask-free policies will only go into effect in areas where they don’t conflict with state or municipal mask ordinances. Meanwhile, if you’d like some actual guidance on the safety (or not) of the theatrical experience at present, please check out our recent interviews with public safety experts for a nuanced conversation about the roles of individual responsibility and collective responsibility when reckoning with the dangers and precautions imposed by COVID.