Aurora victims boycott theater reopening

Jan. 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM
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AURORA, Colo., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Families of victims slain in the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings in July said theater reopening plans are insensitive and they will boycott them.

A dozen family members said in a December letter to Cinemark, the Plano, Texas, company that owns the Aurora theater, they were shocked by invitations they received via email through the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance for "you and a guest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, Jan. 17," The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

The invitation said counselors would be available at the theater during the event, and victims and their families may visit the theater Jan. 15 and 16, prior to the theater's reopening.

James Holmes, 25, of Aurora is accused of shooting and killing 12 people and injured at least 58 when he opened fire in the movie complex's Theater 9.

Theater 9 is being converted into an XD theater with a screen that will take up the whole wall, the Post reported.

Sandy Phillips, the mother of Jessica Ghawi, slain when a gunman opened fire during the July 20 sold-out midnight showing of a Batman movie, said, "None of us received a letter of condolence or any other communication from Cinemark, but now they want us to step foot in that theater."

The movie theater has been closed since the shooting, the Post reported.

A judge on Wednesday set Monday as the date to air evidence in the massacre.

At the hearing, both prosecutors and defense attorneys indicated they were ready for the preliminary hearing for James Holmes, who faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges.

If the judge sets a trial date, an arraignment hearing will soon follow. Prosecutors must then announce whether they will seek the death penalty.

Several families of those killed and some who were injured have filed lawsuits against Cinemark. The suits allege poor security at the theater the night of the shootings.

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