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City of Aurora asks public what should happen to site of theater massacre

AURORA, Colo. — For more than a month only police, prosecutors and defense attorneys have been allowed inside the Century 16 theaters in Aurora.

A gunman opened fire there, killing 12 and injuring almost 60 people.

Aurora city leaders are taking the first steps toward figuring out what’s next for what has become an unfortunate landmark in the city.

To participate in the city of Aurora survey, click here.

FOX31 Denver’s Dave Young talked to people from Aurora, Texas, Philadelphia and Germany Tuesday who all came to see the theater and the memorial to the victims that sits across the street behind it.

Roads leading to the theater, which is on the east side of the Town Center at Aurora mall, remain barricaded.

There is a fence around the building.

Hundreds continue to visit the free-form memorial to the victims. Each has thoughts about the site’s future.

“I don’t think I want to go in there and watch a movie knowing that that many people got killed and shot in there,” says Terri Sims.

“I think that they should probably tear it down,” says Heidie Jarvis.

Tim Kelly disagrees. “Closing it is kind of like giving up.”

“I don’t know how people could just sit in there and know that there are lives that have been lost,” Lauren Kemp says.

“Don’t let the enemy win by just tearing it up,” says Brenda Adams.

Texas-based Cinemark, the theater owner, has remained silent about its plans. Our calls and emails to the company about the community survey were not returned.

Many people have said that like Oklahoma City, Columbine High School and Ground Zero in New York, there should be some kind of permanent memorial.

“Memorial in the theater but I think it should reopen just to say ‘Hey man, this didn’t affect us, let’s get on with life,’” says Dave Haefele.

Rev. Thomas Curry says, “Certainly don’t want these people who passed not to be remembered in some special way.”

Aurora will be gathering opinions from the survey on its website until August 31. It will share the results with Cinemark if the company asks.