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Aurora Shooting Memorial: Community In Early Talks Of What To Do With Century 16 Theater, Reflects On Columbine

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Pinwheels spin at the memorial across from the Century 16 theater, Saturday, July 28, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack on July 20, at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie,
Pinwheels spin at the memorial across from the Century 16 theater, Saturday, July 28, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and over 50 wounded in a shooting attack on July 20, at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

While makeshift memorials and candle outcroppings in Aurora continue to grow by the hour, the community is faced with the question: what to do with the Century 16 theater?

It's not an easy question. Nearly two weeks after the shooting, now called one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, all but one of the victims has been laid to rest. Family members of Ashley Moser say a funeral for her 6-year-old daughter Veronica Moser, the youngest of the victims to die in the tragedy, has been delayed until her mother can attend.

"I know people say, 'You need to get back on the horse and start over again.' But it would just be very difficult," memorial visitor Rosemary Synovic told Denver's KMGH, adding that she thinks the city should tear down the theater and build a memorial.

Others argue for the theater to remain open.

From the LA Times:

"I think John would want that," said Karen Lavin, whose nephew, 27-year-old John Larimer, was among the 12 killed on July 20. "He was a huge movie buff and had amazing recall of lines from everything from 'Princess Bride' to 'Harry Potter.' … Maybe a small memorial outside the theater with the names of the victims would be nice."

One of the most frequently cited examples in the media has been Columbine High School, just miles away.

The library, one of the worst fatality scenes in the shooting massacre, was relocated to the first floor and alighted with windows.

In its own way, the redesign of the school reflected the tragedy in subtleties.

According to a Denver Post article, it occurred to Principal Frank DeAngelis--who had been the principal during the 1999 shooting--that if students had to, they could smash the windows and escape.

The floor over the cafeteria, where the library stood, was turned into an atrium-like space with 13 trees planted in memory of the students who were killed on that day.

"Many people felt that if we destroyed Columbine High School, then the two murderers had won," DeAngelis told the LA Times.

In 2007, an additional public memorial for Columbine was built at Clement Park to recognize the lives lost.

The company which owns the Century 16 Theater, Cinemark, has declined to discuss what will happen with the theater.

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