Theater Shooting Families Upset by January Re-Opening

Yahoo Contributor Network

The families of some of the people killed in the July 20 theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., have written a letter to Cinemark -- the owner of the theater where the shooting took place -- expressing their anger at the planned re-opening of Century Aurora 16.

* According to the letter, printed in full by the Denver Post, the families of victims Alex Teves, Jessica Ghawi, Matt McQuinn, Micayla Medek, Rebecca Ann Wingo, John Larimer, Jonathan Blunk, Veronica Moser-Sullivan and Alex Sullivan stated that the timing of the invitation to attend the theater's re-opening -- sent two days after Christmas -- was "awful."

* The families stated in the letter that Cinemark has shown "zero compassion" to the families of the 12 people killed and referred to the invitation to attend a special evening of remembrance on Jan. 17, followed by the showing of a movie as "disgusting."

* The families took particular exception to the statement in the Cinemark invitation asking individuals to be sure "to reserve our tickets," calling it "wholly offensive" to the memory of those killed.

* The letter states that the families believe the remembrance is a "thinly veiled publicity ploy" intended for the company to distance itself from its responsibility regarding the massacre.

* According to the Reuters , the families have filed a personal injury and wrongful death suit against Cinemark, stating that there was lax security at the theater at the time of the shootings.

* A merged lawsuit, which consolidated seven separate suits, will not be heard until at least May 2014, the Post reported in November.

* In September, 9News reported that a survey conducted by the City of Aurora found that the majority of respondents want the theater to be re-opened. The results of the survey were forwarded by the city to Cinemark.

* Cinemark responded to this information, stating, "It will be our privilege to re-open the theater." The company also pledge to "reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever."

* The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that some of the family members would like to see the theater demolished. "It was a killing field," the mother of victim Jessica Ghawi stated, adding that the company has not told the families what their plans are for the theater other than that they are re-opening it.

* James Holmes has been charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 during the July 20 midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." Holmes is facing a preliminary hearing next week in which the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to try him for the crimes.

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