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January 17th, 2013
09:21 AM ET

Aurora shooting victim family member boycotts theater opening, argues theater using shooting as momentum for opening

Six months after the massacre in Aurora, the Century 16 movie theater where 12 people were killed and nearly 60 wounded is scheduled to roll its screens again. The Colorado theater will reopen to the public tommorrow, remodeled and renamed.

The newly renovated theater was opened this week for private visits from family members. A formal reopening dedicated to the remembrance of the tragedy will be held tonight. Aurora's mayor and Colorado's governor are expected to speak. But many families have decided not to attend tonight. Jessica Watts, whose cousin Jonathan Blunk was a victim of the shooting at Aurora, is one those boycotting the reopening. She joins us live from Denver this morning.

Watts says she has no interest in attending the theater’s reopening because she feels families are “being used as pawns” and as “momentum for their public ticket sales.” However, some families did visit the theater and said it was therapeutic for them. Watts believes “it depends on the healing process” whether some find it helpful or not. “All of us are at different stages of healing and grief and…different levels of trauma,” she says. “I know of a few family members that are going back, but I choose not to, just because I would rather focus my energy on…how we can make a change…in policies, kind of according to what President Obama wanted to do yesterday.”

The president proposed measures to curb gun violence yesterday, but it looks unlikely that the Senate will pass an assault weapons ban. Still, Watts feels hopeful. “Our pleas are being heard,” she says.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. David

    I fully understand that the families want the theatre torn down and I sympathise fully. Here is another perspective...its a good thing that Ford Theatre was not torn down.....

    January 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  2. Sam Whiting

    Why don't they they call it Century 15 and close the theatre, where the shooting took place ?

    January 17, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply

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