Last August, just over a week after the Aurora theater shooting, we checked movie-ticket websites for the shuttered Aurora Century 16 and were shocked to discover that a user review making light of the tragedy was on the Movietimes.com page.
With the theater set to reopen on Thursday, we looked again, and the listing is still there. See it below.
In early August, the website for Cinemark, the company that owns the Aurora Century 16, was frozen in time, still displaying a notice posted on July 20:
As for major movie ticketing sites, most of them appeared to be relying on automatic software, as opposed to either pulling down the Aurora Century 16 page or putting up a message about the tragedy. For example, pages at Fandango.com and Eventful.com featured generic lines about showtimes being unavailable on the selected date, while the one at Moviefone.com implied that a quick fix was in the works: "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."
The Movietimes.com page for the theater was more problematic because of a social media component that encouraged users to post reviews. This is the text of the top one a week after the slayings:
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....
For our post, we reached out to Movietimes.com on multiple occasions, but we didn't receive a reply -- and no action was taken.
Continue to see the offensive user review and responses to it. Here's a new screen capture of the aforementioned user review:
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This message is no longer at the top of the string, however. Above it is one that criticizes Movietimes.com and, presumably, yours truly for writing about the situation: That's followed by a message that shows compassion for those killed or wounded in the assault.... ...and a third note features a similar theme. At Cinemark's Aurora Century 16 page, meanwhile, there were no listings for any future date as of yesterday -- but there was the following graphic and line of condolence. As Patricia Calhoun reported yesterday, victims and survivors will be able to tour the refurbished space today and tomorrow, while the general public can begin patronizing the venue on Thursday.
How many will attend? And will they they do so for ghoulish reasons or merely to catch a flick without charge? We'll know more when the lights go down.
More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "Offensive theater review for closed Aurora Century 16 still on Movietimes.com."