James Holmes case: Aurora Century 16 owner Cinemark files to dismiss victims' lawsuits


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Brandon Axelrod, left, speaks with reporters in the days after the Aurora theater shooting.
As we've reported, the "General Allegations" sections of the documents maintain that Cinemark "had information that previous disturbances, incidents, disruptions and other criminal activities had taken place at or near the property of the theater" prior to the deadly midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, during which the assault took place. Moreover, the suits continue, "These incidents most commonly took place during the evening hours" and included "at least one shooting, involving gang members," as well as assaults and robberies.

Because of such problems, the suits note that the Century 16 had regularly hired various security personnel to work at the theater, including off-duty Aurora police officers -- but they were typically on duty only Friday and Saturday nights. An exception: On July 19, the suit says officers were on hand for the transfer of box-office cash -- but not for the midnight screenings, when huge throngs descended on the theater to attend one of the year's most anticipated movie launches.

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Joshua Nowlan.
Moreover, the suits continue, the exterior doors to the theater lacked "any alarm system, interlocking security systems, or any other security or alarm features which would have put Defendant's employees or security personnel on notice that someone had surreptitiously left the theater by the exterior door and had put the door in an open position which would facilitate a surreptitious and unlawful re-entry" -- precisely what Holmes is thought to have done. And neither did the theater have procedures in place to prevent anyone from taking this action, the complaint maintains.

These assertions are interesting when viewed against the backdrop of the reopening announcement. If, for instance, Cinemark installs alarms on the doors or dictates that security personnel be on hand for all midnight screenings, no matter the day of the week, could attorneys for Traynom, Axelrod and Nowlan successfully argue that these changes constitute acknowledgment that previous procedures were inadequate -- and actionable?

We've reached out to James Meredith, Cinemark's vice president of marketing and communication, in the hope of asking this and other questions, but he hasn't replied thus far. If and when he or a City of Aurora spokesperson does so, we'll update this post.

Continue to see the 9News report about the reopening survey, plus letters from Aurora's mayor and Cinemark's CEO and the two lawsuits.

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10 comments
smurfguru
smurfguru

Good lord, they didn't tear down the Aurora Mall a few years back when there was a shooting inside. The replaced the library at Columbine but the school is still there. And if you look at where the memorial was there is a sign stating that it was taken down and moved to a museum, so it doesn't get destroyed by the weather. Good for you Cinemark for reopening. I'll be there to support your business the day it reopens, it wasn't your fault and I miss my neighborhood theater.

RevBF
RevBF

I get that people would want to rip it down and build a memorial there, but by doing so we're acting as if their victimization is any different than any of the other murders that happen in the nation. I see kayleigh94 says she works in the Aurora Mall - and I'd be hard pressed to think that she knows how many people have been killed in or around that mall since it's been opened. Do you see any memorials? How come these 13 are going to be memorialized when we very rarely even see flowers out on the street corners of slain individuals from the same kind of senseless crimes? Bottom line is that it is private property and they can do with it what they choose. It was a popular theater so why allow one man's insane crime ruin it for the community? There doesn't have to be a room 9 - out of respect, and a small remembrance plaque wouldn't be at all tacky - which is what I assume the owners will do - but to say that the land has to be thrown into defunctness for only 13 murders is pretty inane. Unless of course we start a campaign to make memorials for everyone who has been and will be murdered senselessly around the Denver-metro area. Perhaps the families of the movie theater victims will donate their fund money to make this happen? Because victims of other senseless crimes rarely have the luxury of having strangers hand them money so it would only be fair.

kayleigh94
kayleigh94

This is sick. I think they should take it down and put a memorial. I work at Aurora Mall (across the street  from the theater) and they have taken down the only memorial that was there. They need to honor these people in some way. and i think that opening that movie theater is discusting and disrespectful, and i think people will be to freaked out to go in there, and it will eventually close.

vicky
vicky

And Ryan i would kinda be grossed out going into that place anyway maybe they can put a memorial there and relocate the place..

vicky
vicky

If they open the theater again i hope they dont open the room where the shooting happened.....

Jimmy Jonas
Jimmy Jonas

Ha. It's only a suggestion idiot.. my voice.. my point of view..

Ryan Terpstra
Ryan Terpstra

How nice of you to decide what should be done with property you don't own.

Jimmy Jonas
Jimmy Jonas

They should tear it down and build a park..

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @bafrederickcmb Thanks for the post, bafrederickcmb. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

kayleigh94
kayleigh94

 @bafrederickcmb

 But they do have memorials for people who have died. They have a memorial for columbine, people can put up a cross for when their loved ones get in an accident and die. BUT, maybe you are right. I think these people should be honored in some way. Honestly, i have never thought about that.

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