Billed as a "night of remembrance," Cinemark reopened the Century Aurora theater for the first time since the July 20th shooting where 12 were killed and 58 injured during the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Gov. John Hickenlooper, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila and Cinemark CEO Tim Warner were in attendance for the 30 minute program before a screening of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
All of the theaters have been renamed with letters rather than numbers and theater No. 9, where the gunman open fired last summer, has been renamed Theater I. It's now an "extreme digital cinema" or an "XD" theater with a screen that stretches wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling.
"I'm going to be there to memorialize John," shooting survivor Jansen Young, whose boyfriend Jonathan Blunk died in the shooting, told 7News. "If I'm lucky, I'll find some peace out of it."
Not all of the shooting survivors or family members of victims were in attendance however.
In early January, relatives of eight of the shooting victims wrote to Cinemark expressing their anger at the corporation's "disgusting" invitation to the theater's reopening.
Some, who did return to the theater Thursday evening, said that they found some of the renovations inappropriate.
"To hear the placement of the XD theater is where Theater 9 was is kind of disrespectful," Cynthia Kalam, who was friends with shooting victim AJ Boik, told The Denver Post.
"Some wanted this theater to reopen. Some didn't. Certainly both answers are correct," Hickenlooper said.