Guwahati, October 14 (PTI): The cinema halls in the Northeast will not open on Thursday as the states have not issued any guidelines in this regard even though the Centre has permitted movie screenings.
Cinema halls, distributors and content providers said that movie buffs will have to wait for some more days to visit the theatres as the official notifications are yet to be issued by the states in the region.
Except for Manipur, all the Northeastern states have commercial cinema halls, including multiplexes.
Northeast's largest film distributor Goenka Enterprises' Siddharth Goenka told PTI, "We have not received any notification or confirmation from the government for the opening of the halls. We have also not received any programmes from anywhere."
As per the information from the states, the cinema halls will not open on Thursday anywhere in the entire region, he added.
"Even if the notification comes tomorrow for opening it from Friday, it will take a few more days to actually restart the theatres," Goenka said.
Film content provider UFO Moviez India General Manager (Sales and Distribution) Sourav Dutta said the company has only got the Centre's order, but nothing has been received from the Assam government.
"So, we have not provided any film to any halls even though 10-12 multiplexes are fully ready to operate from Thursday. However, the single-screens will take some more days as they are observing the situation and public response," he added.
Carnival Cinema's Manager Simanta Saikia also confirmed that they have not received any notification from the Assam government, permitting opening of the halls, and also no content provider has send any film.
"It looks unlikely that there will be any show on Thursday. However, we have completed our cleaning and sanitisation process. As the theatres were closed for almost seven months, cleaning was a huge task. We have called almost 80 per cent of the staff for the preparatory works," he added.
Theatres across the country had to shut their doors in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown triggered by it.
In its 'Unlock' guidelines issued on September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the reopening of cinema halls from October 15 with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity, but left it to the states to take a final call on granting the permission.