Before movie night could begin, it was cancelled by the North Platte Community Playhouse due to COVID-19 concerns.

Stu Shepherd Playhouse president Stu Shepherd and the staff decided to cancel movie night for at least a month and then revisit the situation, playhouse member Sue McKain said Thursday.

Shepherd received a call from Great Plains Health Thursday morning about the number of COVID-19 patients in the area, and in an effort to help reduce the spread of the virus, the movies were put on hold, McKain said.

Previously, the board of directors intended to show two movies on most of the Saturdays through December.

Since the AMC theatre closed, the playhouse has fielded a number of inquiries about showing movies again. Movies were put on hold in August when the number of COVID-19 cases spiked.

Cinemas are open in both Gothenburg and McCook, so the North Platte board of directors decided to re-open, spokeswoman Rajean Shepherd said.

The playhouse planned to follow health district guidelines, with limited capacity and six-foot social distancing, and every other row of seats blocked off. They planned to keep three seats empty between every family group, strongly suggest wearing masks, with hand sanitizer throughout the building. Volunteers planned to deep clean between each movie, wearing masks and gloves.

Those plans are now on hold for at least 30 days. The most recent public activity at the playhouse was a Red Cross blood drive, held on Oct. 9.