Aurora Asks For Help Deciding Fate of Movie Theater

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 21 2012 2:06 PM

What Should Aurora Do With Its Movie Theater?

The Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Photograph by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images.

Aurora, Colo., is facing a rather unique dilemma that no place in the world would want to have: What exactly does a city do with the site of one of the worst mass shootings in recent history?

To help answer that question, the city is turning to its residents, sending out a survey through its Facebook page to determine the fate of the Century 16 multiplex where 12 people were killed—and scores more injured—last month.


The ongoing results of the survey are not visible on Facebook, but the Associated Press reports that responses included pleas to tear the theater down and suggestions to reopen it with a new name. The city says the results will be "shared with Cinemark for consideration" as the chain considers what to do with the theater, which has remained closed since the shooting. The Cinemark chain, the third largest in the United States, didn’t comment on the survey or the theater’s future.

Here's the open-ended survey question's exact wording:

As Aurora moves forward after the tragedy of July 20, it is our hope that the entire community will participate and benefit from the citywide healing process. Many people have asked about the future of Aurora's Century 16 theater. We want to know your thoughts. Please take a few minutes to tell us your thoughts. These comments will be shared with Cinemark for consideration in their decision making process

In the past, locals have handled sites of mass shootings differently. Columbine High School, for example, demolished a recently renovated library where many of the shootings there took place in 1999, while Virginia Tech kept open the building where most of the shootings there occurred, opting instead to renovate it and remove its classrooms.   

Jeffrey Bloomer is a Slate assistant editor focused on video. Follow him on Twitter.



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