After the Aurora theater shooting, the Century 16, where a twelve people died and dozens more were hurt during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, closed, and there are very real doubts about whether it will ever re-open. Nonetheless, pages for the theater remain on all the major online movie listings sites we checked, with some entries qualifying as eerie or creepy and this one from Movietimes.com coming across as flat-out offensive.
The Movietimes.com landing spot, which came up third when I Googled the terms "movie," "listings," "Aurora" and "Century 16," has a user-rating component, and the top review offers five stars -- and some awful-taste text. It reads:
One of the best theaters in the country!!! A midnight showing of Dark Knight surprised the audience with a real life gunman coming in!!!! The realism was great....The only thing that made me mad was that the theater canceled the screening, and didn't provide refunds....
Here's the screen capture:
Other pages on major national theater sites are less shocking but may still raise eyebrows. Take the page on the website for Cinemark, the company that owns the Century 16, which has not been updated since the day of the attack. As such, it seems as if this "Alert" message, which refers to "last night," is frozen in time: Additional sites don't appear to have made any attempt to respond specifically to their Century 16 page, instead allowing automated software to take over. That's not especially problematic in every case, as witnessed by this screen capture from Eventful.com, which includes the line, "Sorry, no showtimes are available for this theater on this date." (Note that this and other screen caps are from yesterday, but the pages remain in place at this writing.) More troublesome is the default message on the Moviefone.com page, which reads, "We're sorry, the theater you selected has not delivered showtimes. We are currently in the process of contacting theater management. Please check back for updated information." Should Moviefone.com staffers actually reach management at the Aurora Century 16, the conversation might not be particularly pleasant.
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The Fandango.com page has a more generic explanation for the lack of listings: "Sorry, there are currently no showtimes available for this theater for the selected date." However, it also loads ads that can lead to unfortunate juxtapositions. This is the one that popped up when we accessed the site yesterday:
Still, the sight of a Dark Knight "Buy Tickets Now" banner on a Century 16 page is nothing compared to the Movietimes.com page. We've reached out to the site for comment. When and if we receive a response, we'll update this post.
More from our Television & Film archive: "Aurora theater shooting: Seeing The Dark Knight Rises the day after."