Denver’s Roman Catholic archbishop, Samuel J. Aquila, said he would attend the reopening because he was invited to pray with the community. But in an opinion piece in The Denver Post, he said was concerned about violence in movies, video games and TV shows.
“We cannot pretend that the impact of media has not contributed to the kind of violent behavior which is becoming commonplace in America,” Aquila wrote. “Young men, raised on a brutality in Halo, `Breaking Bad,’ and the Batman trilogy are engaging in the kind of brutality they’re consuming.”
The orange, purple and teal neon lights that lit the sky the night of the shooting at the former Century 16 _ now the Century Aurora _ have been replaced. On the walls, a mural depicts a man and woman, a film reel, and popcorn.
A fence erected to block the ground-level view of the theater days after the shooting was removed Thursday morning as workers finished last-minute preparations.
Before Cinemark spent a reported $1 million on renovations, it allowed victims and families to visit the theater’s auditorium No. 9, where the attack occurred. At least two people who escaped the shooting called it a good idea.
“It does help significantly,” said Jacqueline Keaumey Lader, a U.S. Marine and Iraq war veteran who visited the auditorium last fall with her husband, Don. “It’s taken the power away from the place.”
Michael White Sr.’s son, Michael Jr., suffered a punctured lung and a broken rib and shoulder blade. He ultimately decided to stay away from the cinema.
“With me, it’s like going to a cemetery and walking across somebody’s grave,” the older White said. “I think it’s disrespectful to do that.”
Mayor Hogan noted that the community grieves and heals in different ways.
“For those who don’t want to be there, who can’t be there, I understand and respect that,” he said. “For us here, the larger community if you will, it is part of the healing process.”
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