AURORA, CO – For six months, this movie theater in Aurora, Colorado has sat empty — the scene of a horrendous crime.
Twelve people shot and killed, dozens more wounded as they watched a midnight showing of the Batman flick, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
A dark night, indeed.
But now the time has come to reopen the theater to the masses, yes, even after a mass shooting.
The Cinemark theater will hold a private ceremony Thursday night for victims and first responders.
It’s an event that some welcome…
“A lot of my friends and family have questioned me, ‘Why would you go?’ but I honestly think it’s just one of those things that will help me with the closure,” said Marcus Weaver, a survivor.
…and others have boycotted as ‘insensitive’ and ‘disgusting’.
“The fact that we were being used as pawns. That they were using us as momentum for their public ticket sales,” said Jessica Watts, whose cousin was killed in the tragedy.
Before Cinemark spent a million dollars on renovations, it allowed victims and family members to visit the theater’s auditorium number nine, where the attack happened.
For Marcus Weaver, who was not only wounded in the attack, but also lost his girlfriend, Rebecca Wingo, returning to the scene of the crime is part of his healing process.
“At some point, we all have to come to the realization that it happened and we have to move forward, and our journeys just look a lot different.”
That journey will be a long one for many touched by what happened that night.