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Aurora shooting: Families of victims blast letter from Cinemark inviting them to reopening

Here's the entire e-mail from Lewis to the victims' families.

Subject: Theater Opening

As you may be aware, the Century Aurora theater will be reopening in January, Cinemark, the owner of the theater, would like to invite you and a quest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, January 17 at 5 P.M. A movie will be shown following the remembrance ceremony.

Please reserve tickets for you and your guest by responding to this e-mail. E-mail your name and the name of you guest and your address to nansutton@aol.com by January 8, 2013. Your tickets will be mailed to you. Please let me know of any special seating or accessibility requirements you or your guest may have.

We understand this may be a difficult time for you. Counselors will be available at the theater if you would like to speak to someone. If you have questions, please contact one of the following COVA advocates: Michelle@ColradoCrimeVictims.org or [phone number]
Ami@ColradoCrimeVictims.org
or [phone number]
Darron@ColoradCrimeVictims.org or [phone number]

Nancy Lewis, Executive Director
Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance

And here's the full response from the families in their letter to Cinemark.

To the Management of Cinemark USA, Inc.:

During the holiday we didn't think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred.Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful.

You (Cinemark) has shown, and continues to show, ZERO compassion to the families of the victims whose loved ones were killed in their theater. You, Cinemark, have never once reached out to the families to offer condolences.

This disgusting offer that you'd "like to invite you and a guest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, January 17 at 5 PM" followed by the showing of a movie and then telling us to be sure "to reserve our tickets" is wholly offensive to the memory of our loved ones.

Our family members will never be on this earth with us again and a movie ticket and some token words from people who didn't care enough to reach out to us, nor respond when we reached out to them to talk, is appalling.

You (Cinemark) refused our repeated invitations to speak parent to parent with no lawyers involved. Instead, we get invited to attend a "special evening of remembrance" at the very theater where our loved ones lay dead on the floor for over 15 hours. We would give anything to wipe the carnage of that night out of our minds' eye. Thank you for reminding us how your quest for profits has blinded your leadership and made you so callous as to be oblivious to our mental anguish.

We, the families, recognize your thinly veiled publicity ploy for what it is: A great opportunity for you to distance yourselves and divert public scrutiny from your culpability in this massacre.

After reading our response to your ridiculously offensive invitation, you now know why we will not be attending your re-opening celebration and will be using every social media tool at our disposal to ask the other victims to ask their friends and family to honor us by boycotting the killing field of our children.

The Families of the Aurora Cinemark Theatre Massacre

Thomas Teves (father of Alex Teves)
Caren Teves (mother of Alex Teves)
Sandy Phillips (mother of Jessica Ghawi)
Lonnie Phillips (stepfather of Jessica Ghawi)
Jerri Jackson (mother of Matt McQuinn)
Greg Medek (father of Micayla Medek)
Rena Medek (mother of Micayla Medek)
Anita Busch (cousin of Greg and Micayla Medek)
Robert Wingo, (father of Rebecca Ann Wingo's two children)
Scott Larimer (father of John Larimer)
Kathleen Larimer (mother of John Larimer)
Jessica Watts (cousin of Jonathan Blunk)
Robert Sullivan (grandfather of Veronica Moser-Sullivan)
Sue Sullivan (grandmother of Veronica Moser-Sullivan)
Cassandra Sullivan (widow of Alex Sullivan)

More from our Aurora theater shooting archive: "Photos: Aurora, Columbine families hold emotional conference urging gun reforms"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.


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24 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

If you were the owner of the theater what would you do ? Take FULL responsibility as so many are expecting ? My heart goes out to ALL non-law-enforcement involved,  but COME ON !?! The theater is the scapegoat for the HORRIFIC, MURDEROUS, REACTION by APD  !

Question, are ANY of the theater employees being criminally charged ? Were ANY show attendees killed or injured by the action of ANY theater employee ? 

This ENDLESS negative BLAMING OF THE THEATER works quite effectively for keeping ANY & ALL attention from the 'war-like' tactics used by APD !!!

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

If they hadn't invited them someone would have been upset about that.

Cindy Zavala
Cindy Zavala

I know someone who was working there that horrible night. While she is apprehensive about returning to work, she needs her job and feels she doesn't want evil to win. I disagree. I say bulldoze it and make a memorial park. They may have remodeled the front of the building, but the inside bad karma will remain forever.

D.c. Small
D.c. Small

Yeah, I wouldn't want to go back if I were one of those families.

D.c. Small
D.c. Small

Yeah, I wouldn't want to go back if I were one of those families.

Faycless
Faycless

Boycotting that theatre.

Jennifer Wohletz
Jennifer Wohletz

Yeah--just demolish that theater and turn it into a parking lot. Bad juju.

Craig Hammersmith
Craig Hammersmith

True. You can't always please everyone. Particularly people whose family and friends were recently shot dead in a coldblooded ambush at a Cinemark cinema. "We're reopening, stop in and say hi! Catch a screening of 'Skyfall' on Cinemark's dime! Hope ya like gunfire!"

Sheilah Davis
Sheilah Davis

Cinemark is a cinema. It is not in the business of psychotherapy or victim advocacy. I'm sure they meant well with their well-meaning gesture of good will.

J Patrick McDuff
J Patrick McDuff

Unfortunately, Cinemark made a good faith effort to reach out to everyone. Too bad you can't please all the people all of the time!

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

Cinemark might as well have offered 50% off (and a free t-shirt) for all new AR-15 purchases between January 3rd and January 10th.... Excludes residents of Hawaii and Connecticut, offer only valid on business days starting with a "W," and only if you can provide proof (at time of purchase) that you are a distant relative of Alexander Hamilton's second cousin on his mother's side.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Chris Estus  Great point . APD need it's scapegoat !

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Cindy Zavala As long as you can pay for the purchase of the property and the capital expenditure, I say YOU should go for it.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Sheilah Davis If you're in their situation, it's "no-win." They handled it poorly, and the haters are all over it. AFAIC, they should be held responsible for disarming anyone who would have been armed, but that's about it.

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