The Far North District Council service centre, i-Site and library opened their doors at Kaitaia's Te Ahu on Thursday, albeit under strict Covid-19 controls and reduced hours, but it might be some time before the cinema follows suit.

Te Ahu general manager Mark Osborne said last week that it was a matter of "waiting and seeing" before screenings resumed.

The level 2 restrictions, including provision for contact tracing, were problematic, he said, especially the social distancing rule, which would reduce the maximum audience to around 25 people at a time.

"We would be burning money at that rate, but we know people are keen to see films again, and we will do our best to meet that demand," he added.


The bigger issue, however, was that distributors would not be releasing new films until the US and China were effectively "back up," while the "big players" in this country were not even thinking about opening theatres until the school holidays in July.

He hoped Te Ahu's cinema would be back in action before then, although it would not be screening the latest releases.