Archbishop to pray at theater reopening
By Nissa LaPoint
Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila will lead mourners in a closing prayer at Century Aurora 16 theater Jan. 17 for an event theater owners organized as a “special evening of remembrance and reopening.”
“While it’s a solemn event, I know the archbishop is committed to being there to serve the community and serve all of those impacted by it,” said Father Matthew Book, secretary to the archbishop. “He will be there as a shepherd and a messenger.”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Aurora Community of Faith chair Pastor Reid Hettich and theater owners are also expected to attend.
Cinemark, the theater’s parent company, invited members of the community and “especially those affected by the tragedy of July 20” to attend its reopening where 12 were slain and 58 injured during a late night movie showing. The reopening is by invitation only.
In a letter to Cinemark CEO Tim Warner, Hogan asked the theater to be reopened.
“While no one will ever forget that day, it is now time to look forward and plan for the future,” he wrote Sept. 12, 2012. “We believe that we are hearing, and indeed have heard for some time, a collective wish and desire for the theater to reopen.”
Its reopening is strongly supported in the community, Aurora officials reported, but many affected by the massacre expressed mixed emotions.
“The archbishop recognizes how painful and difficult this is and how no human actions can adequately respond to the sorrow of that tragedy, but he will be there because God the Father has given his Son as a word and a light into every tragedy,” Father Book said.
Cinemark invited victims and their families to visit in the days before its reopening. The theater, renamed Century Aurora theatre, underwent remodeling.
“We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever,” Warner wrote in a letter to Hogan.
The theater also invited the public to free movies Jan. 18 to Jan. 21. You must pick up tickets for the free showings at the theater.
The reopening will take place at the theater, 14300 E. Alameda Ave., in Aurora.