Newtown discusses future of Sandy Hook, while Aurora Century 16 prepares to reopen

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

What should happen to the site of a tragedy? It's been a month since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and yesterday members of that community met to discuss what should become of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 died. Aurora faced that same question after the July 20 Aurora theater shooting.

And now, less than six months after a dozen people died there, the revamped theater will officially reopen on Thursday, January 17, with victims, families, first responders, hospital employees and public officials on hand -- as well as grief counselors. Victims and their family members will be allowed to make advance, private visits tomorrow and Wednesday. And there will be free movies for the community all weekend.

Cinemark, owner of the theater, had used a Facebook poll last fall to poll people about what should be done with the facility: Of the 6,000 reported responses, 70 percent said the theater should stay. But the decision to reopen the theater, smack in the middle of Aurora's centerpiece shopping center, always seemed like a done deal....even if the color scheme has been revamped into something more somber.

The problem of what to do with Sandy Hook Elementary won't be as easy to solve. One of the draws of living in such a small town is a community school; now the kids are being bussed out of the community. A second meeting to discuss the status of the building will be held on Friday, but one thing is certain: This is a lesson plan that no educators can ever be prepared for.

From our archives: "School shooter Laurie Dann only killed one, but her crime was memorable for other reasons, too."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.