Aurora Century 16's free reopening weekend to feature Taken 2, Bourne Legacy, Red Dawn

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Nearly six months after the mass shooting in Aurora, Cinemark, the owner of the theater where the massacre occurred, is reopening the site to the public on Friday, sparking backlash from victims' families. More debate could arise about some of the movies being screened for free over the weekend -- including violent films such as The Bourne Legacy, Taken 2 and Red Dawn. See the full list below.

The controversy around the reopening of Century 16, which a source tells us will now be called the Century Aurora, stems from a letter Cinemark sent to victims' families last month, inviting them to return to theater for a remembrance ceremony.

Aurora families, presser 1.jpeg
Sam Levin
Family members of the victims gathered at a press conference over the summer.
Nine family members of the twelve individuals killed on July 20 sent a harshly worded letter back, blasting Cinemark for such an insensitive invitation, which they said amounted to nothing more than a thinly veiled publicity ploy. Cinemark officials have not commented on that letter. The theater has also been slapped with at least eight lawsuits from victims.

Still, the theater is pushing forward with an event on Thursday, which Governor John Hickenlooper will attend. Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan is expected to be there as well, and tickets are being provided to families and first responders. Victims and their families were also given the opportunity to revisit the theater yesterday and today as well, the Denver Post reports.

At this point, there are also few details about the fate of auditorium nine, where the dozen deaths and scores of injuries took place. But it's likely that it has been substantially changed.

Officials say there will be free screenings open to the public Friday through Monday this holiday weekend -- and people can pick up tickets in person at the theater starting Friday.

A rep tells us that there will be a movie shown at the theater tomorrow night, too, but the selection hasn't been announced yet.

As of this writing, Cinemark's Aurora website doesn't have any movies listed -- just a small note saying there will be free movies this weekend.

But a source confirmed to us this morning that these movies, first listed in a recent Post story, will be screening. Here's the list:

The Bourne Legacy
Cloud Atlas
Finding Nemo 3D
Here Comes the Boom
Hotel Transylvania
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Pitch Perfect
Red Dawn
Taken 2
As Cinemark has prepped for the reopening, there have been questions about what kinds of movies would be appropriate to show in these first days, given that such violent acts took place at the July 20 midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, when suspect James Holmes opened fire. In expressing her frustration with Cinemark's invite, Sandy Phillips, mother of victim Jessica Ghawi, recently asked, "Are they going to show us The Dark Knight so we can see the whole thing?"

The absence of The Dark Knight from the roster doesn't mean the program is violence-free. According to this review of Taken 2, about a former CIA agent (Liam Neeson) taking on bad guys with a taste for torture and kidnapping, 24 people die in the film. The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, follows in the footsteps of three Bourne movies featuring Matt Damon that collectively included 22 deaths as calculated by the website As for the remake of Red Dawn, one critic points out that the number of deaths in the 2012 version is lower than in the 1984 original, in which an estimated 118 people died. But given that the movie concerns American teens fighting off a North Korean invasion, there's plenty of bloodshed.

How appropriate are the theater's choices?

Continue for some trailers of the films available this weekend in Aurora.

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Nobody knows the families grief for losing their loved ones but it is still and has still been a business, yes it was a very tragic event that happened but they still need to make their money as well. If they would have shut down or demolished the theatre, what would have came of it? Wether it became a memorial site or whatever others wanted it to be, that'd STILL be where a massacre occurred!! It wouldn't change a thing!!! It is creepy to be in front of the Century Theatre, I was there a few hours ago. BUT!!! When you think about it, they're going to make their money the way they know how, wether you like it or not. It's probably going to be a movie theatre that shows scary movies a lot sometime in the future. Different people see it different. The families can't blame Cinemark for what happened; its not like they knew someone was going to go in and go on a damn shooting spree! It wasn't their job to apologize, they weren't guilty, their own workers were there as well. I'm surely not giving James Holmes the satisfaction he wanted in the end, sick f*****g bastard. But I won't forget what happened there, either.

*Don't bash me for MY OPINION either, please and thank you!!


I understand how lot feel about this but I feel that reopening the theater was a good thing and the reason why is I feel if we had close it down Than Homes would have gotten what he wanted and that was control us with fear.Buy reopening the theater well send a message to homes to show him that no matter what he done he isn't going to control us and stop us from enjoy our self Now I respect that lot you calling it hallowed ground watch it well be for ever but saying it not fun place got think of those who lost their life on that day the want there to have fun and enjoy them self So I feel that going back there to watch a movie is honoring Them. 

Joel Roth
Joel Roth

That is now hallowed ground.....not a fun place

Grace SuperMom S
Grace SuperMom S

Who cares. I live down the street and will always refuse to go in that place, EVER

Daniel Ahrens
Daniel Ahrens

The end of the bAtman movie?? What happens? The suspense...

Doug Hubka
Doug Hubka

How about a Clint Eastwood Marathon.

Jane Wallace
Jane Wallace

that place is a killing ground, i dont even like to drive by!!! CREEPY!!!

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

I'm beginning to care less and less about the families impacted due to their moronic statements against the theater and its owners. The theater didn't invite the dude to come in that horrible night. They had no way of knowing. Leave them be, it's just a theater.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Doug Hubka  ... Talking to Chairs ... On Senile Pond ... 


@Jane Wallace you probably live over a killing ground where innocent indians were masacered by white people


@Stephen At Half Aspen i agree

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