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AMC Theatres has chosen not to make masks mandatory when the company reopens 600 locations next month despite spiking coronavirus numbers in some states, CEO and president Adam Aron told Variety Thursday.

“We did not want to be drawn into a political controversy,” Aron said. “We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example.”

While guests won’t have to wear a mask, Aron said employees will.

Aron said in a statement Thursday that AMC Theatres is implementing its “AMC Safe & Clean” health and sanitation program that will include:

  • Initially capping movie showing attendance at 30%
  • Cleaning theaters after every movie
  • Using an electrostatic sprayer to sanitize seating area
  • Limiting the concession stand menu selection temporarily
  • Improving the theater ventilation systems

The company is planning to have 450 locations operational by July 15, and the rest up and running to show Disney’s “Mulan” on July 24 and Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” on July 31, Variety reports.

AMC Entertainment lost nearly $2.2 billion in its first quarter as it struggled with the closure of all of its movie theaters amid the virus outbreak.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.