Aurora Survivors Return to Theater Ahead of Reopening

Revamped theater headed for controversial debut
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2013 7:21 AM CST
A police offer moves a traffic cone at the entrance to the fenced-in Century movie theater, the site of the deadly 2011 shootings, in Aurora, Colo., Jan. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – The site of the Aurora massacre is reopening today, but yesterday it opened its doors to a crowd that wasn't there to be entertained: survivors and families of the victims. "I wanted to go back because that theater was the last place I ever saw Veronica, and it really means a lot to me," one 14-year-old who saw her 6-year-old cousin gunned down tells KUSA-TV. She came in and sat in the same seat she had that night.

The theater has a new name, Century Aurora X-D, and a revamped interior, with new carpeting, seats, and a relocated restroom. What was once Theater 9 has been renamed Auditorium H, the Denver Post reports. For some, that was enough—one 13-year-old said it made her "stop telling myself that I'm never going to see another movie." But others aren't as moved. "Name it whatever they want, it'll always be Theater 9, where people went to the movies and didn't walk out," said one survivor. Indeed, some say that despite free ticket offers, they'll boycott the reopening, decrying it as a publicity stunt.

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