Colorado theater reopening divides town
AURORA — The Colorado cinema where 12 people were killed and dozens injured in a shooting rampage nearly six months ago reopened on Thursday with a remembrance ceremony and a private screening of the fantasy film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” for survivors — but for some Aurora victims, the pain is still too much, the idea too horrific.
Several families boycotted what they called a callous public relations ploy by the theater's owner, Cinemark. They claimed the Texas-based company — which has been publicly silent since the July 20 shooting — didn't ask them what should happen to the theater. They said Cinemark emailed them an invitation to the reopening just two days after they struggled through Christmas without their loved ones.
“It was boilerplate Hollywood — ‘Come to our movie screening,'” said Anita Busch, whose cousin, 23-year-old college student Micayla Medek, died at the theater.
Others, like Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, said the event was part of the healing process and that many residents wanted to see the theater back up and running.
James Holmes, a former neuroscience Ph.D. student, is charged with 166 felony counts, mostly murder and attempted murder, in the July 20 shootings at the former Century 16 — now the Century Aurora. A judge ordered Holmes to stand trial, but he won't enter a plea until March.
First responders to the massacre, Hogan, Gov. John Hickenlooper and religious leaders were to join survivors at the multiplex for the event.
In addition to the “Hobbit” screening, theater placards featured “Trouble With the Curve,” ‘'Cloud Atlas,” ‘'The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and other films for the weekend.
Victims have filed at least three federal lawsuits against Cinemark, alleging it should have provided security for the midnight “The Dark Knight Rises” showing, and that an exit door used by the gunman to get his weapons and re-enter should have had an alarm. In court papers, Cinemark says the tragedy was “unforeseeable and random.”
Hogan noted that the community grieves and heals in different ways but insisted that most Aurora residents wanted to reopen the theater.
“For those who don't want to be there, who can't be there, I understand and respect that,” Hogan said. “For us here, the larger community if you will, it is part of the healing process.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Autistic twin men locked up in Maryland home
- U.S. intel believes civilian plane might have been mistaken for Ukraine military aircraft
- ‘Slenderman’ attack victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous well wisher
- HGH use on the rise in teens, survey finds
- Explosion levels home in Central Texas; 3 hurt
- To fight crime, Chicago tries wiping away arrests
- Cyber domain is next battleground, authors of 9/11 report warn
- VA nominee to demand ‘urgent action,’ he tells panel
- For more than 8 decades, N.Y. farmer has kept eye to the sky
- Montana judge censured over rape case comments
- Man convicted of enslaving woman gets 30 years