Century 16 redesign plans unveiled

Plans for the theater where 12 people were killed and 58 wounded show designs to be fitted with a proprietary screen for the chain; cinema's exterior will likely change a little

AURORA | Plans for the redesigned Century Aurora 16 cinema call for refitting the theater where a gunman killed 12 people July 20 with a state-of-the-art screen.

The plans, filed with the city of Aurora this month, call for turning theater No. 9 into one of Cinemark’s “extreme digital cinemas,” which feature massive screens that stretch from wall to wall and floor to ceiling.

Century 16 Construction

Outdoor theater lettering is removed Oct. 16 at Century Aurora 16 theater.

It’s not clear from the plans filed with the city if the redesigned theater will include a memorial to the victims.

TK Architects in Kansas City developed the redesign, and TMS Construction in Colorado Springs is the contractor, according to the plans. Officials at both companies declined comment Thursday.

A spokesman for Cinemark did not immediately return a call for comment.

Redesigning the theater, which has been closed since the July 20 shootings, will cost $950,000 in materials alone, city documents say.

The plans also call for designating each of the 16 theaters by letter instead of number. In the case of what was theater No. 9, it will be designated “Theater XD,” the plans say.

The theater’s original plans from 1997 called for 421 seats in theater No. 9, new plans call for 360.

The outside of the theater will also undergo a substantial redesign with the massive illuminated “16” on the front coming down and being replaced with some type of mural. Other changes include altering the exterior lighting.

Crews have been working on their design for several days. On Tuesday, they could be seen using a crane to remove the word “Century” from the front of the theater.

In a letter to Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan on Sept. 20, Tim Warner, CEO of Cinemark, Inc., said the theater will re-open and be ready for customers by the beginning of 2013.

“It will be our privilege to re-open the theater. We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever,” he wrote.

Warner’s letter was a response to a letter Hogan sent him Sept. 12 asking that the theater be re-opened.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisHarrop Chris Harrop

    It’s unconscionable to reopen Theater 9, no matter the extent of the renovation or the renaming. That auditorium should remain closed permanently, whether it’s redesigned into a memorial space or not. For Theater 9 to now become the showcase space in the theater for an “extreme” screen is not only disrespectful, but it will invite the worst element to come and know exactly which showtimes will grant them a seat in what should be hallowed ground. Prepare yourselves for juggalos and death-porn lovers to plunk down cash for the privilege to watch blockbuster crap where a dozen people lost their lives and dozens more had their lives changed forever. Cinemark’s leadership team should really revisit these plans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/melanya.king Melanya King

      I Completely agree. Disrespectful, distasteful.

      • Fred Harvey


    • Sharna Wood

      Honeslty you want to sit there and disrespect juggalos and punks by the way that they dress, well buddy i got news for you not everyone is horrible and the fact that they are going to remodel it shouldnt have any difference its a place of business. they cant keep it closed down forever. i lost a friend in the shooting and you have to keep moving on, you just cant stop dead in your tracks. Having that theater rebuilt they ought to, and they also should have a memorial for all the vitcims that lost their lives. Its a time of healing, the grieving process will still happen but moving on is the only thing you can do. The sick scum bag is in jail now! I think you really ought to rethink what you post about people and their image and restate what you said.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tammera.hainessimons Tammera Jean Haines Simons

        Sharna I agree with you!!

    • Cody

      You only allow for a very extreme version of the kind of patron who would be drawn into theater 9. There are many who would also choose to go in order to pay their respects. Of course, it is a difficult matter, and any decision will displease someone. However, as somebody who was there, albeit in theater 8, I have grown close with other patrons from that night, and there is not a single one of us who feels that they should shut theater 9 down; we refuse to allow some random gunman to take any more from us than he has. Also, remember that people were shot in theater 8 as well, due to bullets coming through our wall. A young women bled out of her mouth just feet from me. The stigma of the shooting is visceral, and the entire building is affected in that sense, not just theater 9. Deviants would visit that site even if the building was completely demolished. The appeal to deviant patronage is just not enough for those of us who requested that everything stay. We need that for our own healing, and our community has gotten behind us.

      I realize that an outsider perspective is given over to analysis and conjecture. Still, that theater has become a statement of our resilience. We feel that the risk of macabre thrill seekers is both acceptable, and inflated. We are also grateful that the majority of the community has gotten behind us and is keeping with our wishes.

      • Fred Harvey

        Yes – I’ve left some red roses under the seats as a gesture of respect. What higher level of respect is there to pay to these folks than visit there and LEARN? Learning is something you cannot avoid doing in #9. It just isn’t humanly possible. It really is impacting, and I hope the families can some day understand this.

        I was never in Century Aurora before the reopening. I have been there many times since, and will continue visiting. That turd ball will not deter me nor my companions I take with me.

        I’ve never seen a macabre weirdo there. I see families and couples mostly, coming with popcorn and drinks to enjoy a movie in OUR theater.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jared.kershaw1 Jared Kershaw

      I am a Juggalo. and sir… I wouldn’t go to that theater for that reason. I also don’t like death porn.You sir are a sad little prejudice man. Judge not or you shall be judged first. Good luck with that. JUGGALO FOR LIFE!! whoop whoop.

      • cammy

        may i ask: what is a juggalo??

      • Fred Harvey

        You’d rather listen to white trash music disrespectful of your race and culture than show some community spirit and strength by visiting a place that we as a community of people are taking back.

        Well that’s peachy.

    • Fred Harvey

      It’s unconscionable that people should cave in to Holmes and live in fear and allow him to so disrupt their lives. #9 IS hallowed ground, you guys don’t get it. Not only is it hallowed ground, it is a 354 seat classroom. How much more of a memorial could you ask for? Everyone that steps through those doors learns and improves as a person. Visit that place and you’ll see what I mean.

      It IS a memorial.

  • CB

    Really? This whole thing is not Cinemark’s fault, it’s the fault of a crazed man … they’re getting sued for something they had no control over, and now spending this money to redesign it to make everyone else happy. It was a sad, tragic accident, it is is no way their fault. It is nice they are doing what they are doing,but in no way should they be forced to.

  • SunnyCO

    I am so glad to see they will be revitalizing the theater. Not only have I & my children grown up going to this theater, but we lost a very good friend, Rebecca Wingo during the 7/20 tragedy & I know that none of us would want to see the theater not reopen. We win, the pathetic loser does not!

  • Mourning my cousin

    My cousin was murdered in that theater….and to reopen that complex, let alone theater 9 is a dishonor to all who were killed or wounded that night. Shame on you Cinamark.

    • CO

      I agree I dont think that theater should be reopened, they should make it a memorial, my brothers best friend was killed in there and one of my class mates, i would never want to even go that theater again.

      • Adam Coate

        Remember that the theater itself was a victim of the shooting as well. Just because it has bad memories there doesn’t mean it should be put out of business. I agree there should be some sort of memorial.

      • Fred Harvey

        It is a memorial. #9 is a 354 seat classroom. Visit it.

    • Fred Harvey

      No – it’s an honor to them because 1) It means Holmes lost, and 2) It means people stepping into that theater can learn VERY valuable lessons. I certainly have.

      Holmes wants us to be afraid to go there. Fail.

  • R.I.P. 12 Angels

    I lost my friend AJ Boik and this upsets me beyond belief. A memorial wouldn’t cost half as much as they’re putting into a theater where him and 11 others were killed. Many others wounded. I personally feel like Cinemark is in it for the money, not helping victims, their families, and their friends heal.

    • Fred Harvey

      Considering they only decided to reopen after the community was polled by the city of Aurora, how do you figure they’re in it for the money? Further, if you’d ever visited the place, especially in the early days, you’d know they weren’t breaking even.

      So where is this big cash windfall?

      You’re attacking other victims – namely Century Theatres.

  • A Lavoie

    I feel that re-opening the theater in which 12 people lost their lives and so many others lives were changed forever is totally disrespectful and the theater should be ashamed of themselves. That theater should be a memorial not a place for curious people to go to to say they survived watching a movie there, and then you got to think about how many sick people there are out there and that there is bound to be a copy cat shooting, especially in that particular theater. I mean,putting a jumbo screen into that theater after 12 people lost their lives is like putting a jumbo screen at the 9/11 site to play block buster films instead of making it the beautiful memorial it is today. Re-think these plans otherwise your going to have an uproar.

    • Fred Harvey

      You’re way off base. You’re letting Holmes win and you’re robbing the community of it’s power. Btw, they have security upgrades there that are visible to the plain eye and staff do detailed walkthroughs. But you’ve never – and will never – visit there, so you have no clue of what you speak. Considering that, please stop with your nasty attitude.

  • shawna

    I think Century 16 is using theater 9 as a promotion site. Plus I think the only reason they are putting in the giant screen is to make up for the months they were closed. Which is very sick. I personally don’t think I will ever go back to that theater. The smell of blood will always be in the air. I think the families have every right to sue just because they were not in code violation. They had been sited several times for not having a lock or siren on that door along with other doors.

    • Fred Harvey

      What a load. It doesn’t smell like blood; it smells like new upholstery. Part of the family lawsuits have been thrown out, and now the rest needs to be also. Victims shouldn’t be suing victims.

  • Never forget, never surrender

    Not reopening dishonors the victims…it gives continued power to the one responsible…he would love for them to continue letting him take away from them…collateral damage.

    • Mary Brooks

      I agree with you WE CANNOT LET HIM WIN!!

    • Fred Harvey

      People don’t get it’s a living memorial AND a classroom. It’s not just a mere theater – no way.



    • Jeremy

      Seriously? While I am all for the legal system….they caught him immediately. This is one of those open and shut cases where we KNOW he did it, he let himself be caught, and is hoping he can get away with it by using an insanity plea. Saying he’s innocent until proven guilty is like coming home, catching a guy raping your wife, knocking the guy unconscious and holding him until the cops get there. Would you believe the guy raping your wife was innocent because he was waiting on a trial? No, you wouldn’t. This is the same thing. We know he’s guilty, he just gets his day in court like everyone else.

      • http://twitter.com/Lilaleo Lilaleo

        Jeremy, it is quite obvious that you have not bothered to read up anything about the case, possibly since it happened… Nobody, not a single witness, can identify him as the shooter… Not even a single witness who saw his orange hair sticking out from under his gear… And he was found incapacitated, sitting in a locked car, he notified the police immediately about all those sophisticated booby traps he allegedly built, and he has been drugged out of his mind ever since he was apprehended, including during his own trial.

  • Mom’s Opinion

    Have taken my kids to that theater for years.
    Our church alone lost 5 people in that shooting.
    My sister’s church also lost 5 kids at the Columbine shooting.
    Her oldest son was across the street when that happened.
    The school was rebuilt, and has a memorial in there.
    My sister’s younger kids go there, but they were to young to remember the pain it caused.
    My family might go to the theater after they reopen.
    Momorial or not, don’t expect us to ever step in #9 or even #8. No matter what they call it.

    • Fred Harvey

      Then you let Holmes win. I was most recently in #8 yesterday, April 30, 2013. The next time I will be in #9 is in 2 days – May 3, 2013. Not going there means Holmes has gotten to you. Essentially, with you at least, he won. He hasn’t with me. I’ve been in #9 a number of times since reopening and I will continue to march in there and enjoy movies. Hopefully you’ll reconsider your position to something more empowering.

      I think everyone should visit #9. It’s a 354 seat classroom with some very valuable lessons that people need to learn.

  • Sarah T

    You misspelled “officials”.

    • Aaron Cole

      Thanks for catching. We changed it.

  • Sarah T

    Also, it should read “their design” not “there design”.

  • Dustin

    The way to move on and heal is not to close every place with a tragedy, but remember what happened, upgrade security and move on. My friend will never be brought back from what happened and to leave an empty shell of a building to me would be like dishonoring his memory. It’s a good idea to me to change the number system, and personally I could care less about the new display. But why is there no mention about upgraded security such as alarms on the fire exits?

    • SteveDenver

      Even the Mayan Theater has security on rear exit doors. I remember someone trying to exit to the rear parking lot, a loud buzzer sounded and lights went on. The movie stopped and management went through the theater to slam the door shut.

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  • Denise

    Are you kidding me!? Theater 9 becomes the biggest attraction!? That room should be a PERMANENT MEMORIAL! HOW SICK! Way to slap the victims, dead or not, their friends and their families in the face Cinemark! I was actually considering going back there to support. But since you clearly want to turn our pain and suffering into your biggest moneymaker, no way in hell are you getting another dime of my hard-earned money again.

    • Fred Harvey

      It is a memorial. More than that – it’s a 354 seat classroom. Ever consider that?

      That’s fine – I go there weekly, so they’re getting my money.

  • Theresa Trollinger

    A “HOT TOPIC”: I grew up only 5 blocks from this theatre (although the theatre itself wasn’t there in the 70’s/80’s…..the Aurora Mall was built just a year or two after we moved here….). I wish personally, that they would re-open the th
    eatre, just as it was. Same low prices, same great food, same awesome movies. Only now, with a beautiful memorial in front, where we could make donations for as long as we choose to. Taking down the ’16’ and then making the theatres letters instead of numbers and then making theatre #9 a special theatre is weird. Just leave it the way it was…..exactly the way it was. Opening day would bring in 350,000 people in….I promise you! People would come in 100-thousand fold just to show that Century 16 is alive and well! That Aurora is alive and well! And paying their respects to those lives lost….and families/friends directly affected–just by living through it. And what about the sweet 16 year old who was just passing through town on a road trip? The girl from the east coast who wanted to ‘take in a movie and then spend the night in Aurora and get back on the road early the next day? What about her? Did we all forget how we survived when Chuck E Cheese’s in the early 90’s didn’t close (but they did relocate)? Columbine High School prevailed, why shouldn’t Century 16? Why make changes? A million dollars? Why not clean things up and donate that million to those victims instead? I was literally in front of the theatre on the 16th of October and just looked at it. So sad to see it all fenced in. All boarded up; what a waste. We’ll go back now….no need to sensationalize this….just appreciate it, patronize it, become excited to go see a movie here again. Make this tragedy about the victims, the movies; don’t make it about “him”….we dont’ care about “him”. Let’s presume that’s what they would want us to go to the movies…..let’s just keep it simple. Let us pray, donate and prevail. Don’t you think? For years we often went there on Sundays for a matinee. Let’s keep it innocent, fun and enjoyable…it isn’t Aurora or ‘Century’ that caused this. It was a sick person from elsewhere that came here; so in other words, an ‘isolated incident’. Don’t let this tragedy define Aurora Colorado….let him define himeself…”sick”. Let’s just open it back up and restore it’s natural state/authenticity and I’ll pay double; just to support Aurora, and the victims and their families…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/callmeonthemoon Kelsey Moore

    if you dont re-open you allow James Holmes to have disrupted daily life even more.. therefore he continues to “win”. I worked next door to one of the victims who died, and i work with someone whose kid was shot… i personally think they should remodel the theater(which they will do) and then place a memorial place for all the victims

  • Mary Brooks

    If we don’t reopen the theater its letter the guy who shot it up when and frankly I don’t want him to win.

  • Tom

    I think the best thing they can do is reopen the theater and resume normal operations. No one is ignorant to the reality of what happened there but to leave it closed as a some sort of multi-thousand square foot memorial is economically impractical and naïve. To vilify the company for attempting to reopen one of its operating locations is simply childish — akin to saying Columbine should have been closed after the shootings there or that a major intersection should be closed due to a fatality resulting from a traffic accident. I have lived in Aurora for nearly 28 years and the last thing that part of town needs is another closed business. Further, postulating as to what the victims view as insensitive is presumptuous at best. If anything needed to be done — perhaps all those clamoring about the insensitivity of reopening the theater could better devote their time and energies to planning a memorial that could be installed on the grounds of the theater once reopened.

  • Tom

    I think the best thing they can do is reopen the theater and resume normal operations. No one is ignorant to the reality of what happened there but to leave it closed as a some sort of multi-thousand square foot memorial is economically impractical and naïve. To vilify the company for attempting to reopen one of its operating locations is simply childish — akin to saying Columbine should have been closed after the shootings there or that a major intersection should be closed due to a fatality resulting from a traffic accident. I have lived in Aurora for nearly 28 years and the last thing that part of town needs is another closed business. Further, postulating as to what the victims view as insensitive is presumptuous at best. If anything needed to be done — perhaps all those clamoring about the insensitivity of reopening the theater could better devote their time and energies to planning a memorial that could be installed on the grounds of the theater once reopened.

  • Chuck

    I’ll visit as soon as they make it possible for me to defend myself by supporting the Second Ammendment to our constitution. Until then, I’ll not give them any of my money.

    • Fred Harvey

      Then you can’t see a movie anywhere.

  • johnnybgood

    dont sue the theater sue his parents,they released him on the world, not the theater.

    • ajt

      that;s not a fair statement it’s not his parents fault! it’s eveident you don’t have any children! because you would have not made that statement, tell me one parent that has control over there 16 and above children?

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  • Fred Harvey

    I can only hope that you all here supporting the reopening have been going back. People need to show up IN NUMBERS to take that building. I’ve been doing my part, seeing nearly a movie a week. How about you guys?