Aurora Century 16: Facebook survey vote for reopening not limited to locals
Update: Last week, we posted about the decision by Cinemark, owner of the Aurora Century 16, to reopen the theater where James Holmes allegedly killed twelve people and injured 58 this past July; see our previous coverage below. Now, we've learned more details about the Facebook survey that showed the majority of respondents wanted the venue to stay in business. Turns out there's no way to tell if those who participated live in Aurora or not.
Aurora spokeswoman Kim Stuart says the city doesn't have specific details about the survey. She suggests we contact Cinemark, whose vice president of marketing and communication, James Meredith, has not yet returned a previous call for comment. We've placed another interview request with Meredith and will update this post when and if he gets back to us.
However, Stuart is familiar with the broad strokes of the survey. According to her, more than 6,000 people shared their views, with well over 70 percent voting in favor of reopening the theater. But it's her understanding that the survey didn't allow Cinemark to either limit voters to Aurora or Colorado residents, or to see how many of folks from the city or state took part in the survey -- and what percentage of them wanted the Century 16 to reopen.
A look inside the Aurora Century 16.
Perhaps the majority were from Aurora, since the survey was shared on the city's Facebook page. But given the international attention this shocking event received, there's every possibility that many, if not most, of the survey-takers were from outside the city or the region.
Even if that's the case, Stuart says the sentiment for refurbishing and re-launching the theater jibes with the personal experiences of Aurora officials. In her words, "We've heard from many in our community that they'd like to see the theater reopened. They feel like it's their theater."
She also points to a statement made by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan about the prospect of the Century 16 returning to regular business again. Hogan said:
I am pleased the victims, families of the victims, our community and others had a chance to share their thoughts and feelings concerning the future of the theater. The responses indicate overwhelming support to reopen the theater with renovations. The theater has been a valued part of our community for many years, and just as they have been all along, I am confident Cinemark will continue to remain sensitive to victims, their families, their employees and our community throughout their process of remodeling and reopening.In addition, Hogan sent a letter to Cinemark expressing similar emotions. It's on view below, along with Cinemark's own letter about reopening the Century 16 and two lawsuits filed by theater shooting victims that the company has asked a judge to dismiss.
We will always remember those who lost their lives and the many others impacted that day. While no one will ever forget that day, this is another step in the community's healing.
Continue to read more about the plan to reopen the Aurora Century 16 -- and the lawsuits that accuse Cinemark of security lapses and negligence.