SANDY, Utah – The Utah Department of Health announced Tuesday the state has met the guidelines to end most public health orders, one of them being mask requirements. The Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy followed suit and announced though masks are welcome they will not require them.
“The biggest cheer of the night was following that announcement,” said Mark Dietlein, CEO.
When asked about the reasoning behind the decision, Dietlein said they’re following the state’s new guidelines. “We have just simply opted to go with what those in charge here in the state have indicated to us that they feel is safe,” he said.
Dieltlein believes businesses are going to have to make a tough choice over whether to enforce mask requirements or simply let the public be.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about personal freedoms, and allowing people to be able to make choices on their own, you know we fall in line with that thought process in allowing our patrons to come with a mask if they choose, or not with a mask, or simply to defer their visit to Hale Centre Theatre to a future time when they feel more comfortable,” Dieltlein explained.
There was a lot of reaction to their post online. Some were joyful and thanked the business for doing away with masks.
“This is very disappointing. I wish you cared for the safety of your patrons and followed science and not state mandates,” wrote Brittany Morazan.
Dietlein said they recognize they will never have consensus from people, on anything, let alone masks. He also reassured that fans of the theatre come to the rescue and defend them when bad comments arise.
“It has been really heartwarming to know we’ve got a lot of people out there who love Hale Centre Theatre and what we do, that they’re willing to defend us on social media.”
Dietlein said the theatre will still be following all other COVID-19 safety protocols minus mask requirements.
“(Patrons) will be greeted by employees, our hosting staff, who all have masks, we’re still not doing concessions, we’re still carrying forward with our sanitization cleaning efforts. It’s pretty much the same as it has been with that one exception,” Dietlein said.