Aurora Theater Reopens After Mass Shooting

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The theater in Aurora where a gunman killed twelve people and wounded dozens more reopened Thursday night with an invitation-only event. Some victims and their families boycotted, while others came in support.

Here is a transcript of a report from CPR’s Ben Markus.

Reporter Ben Markus: Some families of victims were incensed at what they said was the callused decision to reopen the theater. Judy Goos's daughter escaped relatively unscathed from the July 20th shooting. She declined an invitation for Thursday night’s remembrance in the theater.

Judy Goos: You know, God bless some of those victims. They are ready, they are lined up, and they are ok with going back. I’m not, I’m still struggling with it.

Reporter: Goos stood on the street outside the theater holding a sign that read, “Respect, not free movies,” a reference to the free showings the theater is offering the public over the weekend. Inside the theater, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said the decision to not come to the event was valid.

Steve Hogan: But everyone here now also made an equally valid choice.

Reporter: He said he came because he didn’t want the shooter to win.

Hogan: We as a community have not been defeated. We are a community of survivors, and we are a community that is united in our recovery.

Reporter: Governor John Hickenlooper and Cinemark CEO Tim Warner also made remarks, before the ceremony ended and some guests stayed to watch a special screening of "The Hobbit." Afterwards, Marcus Weaver, who was in Theater 9 where the shooting happened, and whose friend Rebecca Wingo was killed, said he was glad he came.

Marcus Weaver: It’s still hard, but this just makes it so much better, you know. I do feel at peace. And just to be united with the victims - we all have something in common for the rest of our lives, and to just remember one more time before the theater opens, you know, it just it’s a blessing.

Reporter: The theater re-opens to the public on Friday.

[Photo: CPR/BMarkus]