AURORA | The bright neon lights of the Century Aurora 16 theater have shined on Aurora every night since a gunman there opened fire July 20, killing 12 and wounding 58.
For some, the lights — which are visible for several blocks around the theater — are an unwelcome reminder about what happened there.
But whether the lights will ever be turned off is a question without an answer, even six weeks after the shootings.
“Why can’t they turn the light out, why do we have to see that light?” Deidra Brooks, whose son, Jarell, was shot inside the theater, said last month.
Brooks said the families have been told the lights will stay on unless all of the victims’ families agree that they should be shut down.
A spokesman for Cinemark, which owns the theater, has not returned several calls in recent days about the lights.
The theater has been closed and fenced off since the shooting, but the brightly colored “Century” sign as well as other lights have remained on.
Brooks isn’t the only person frustrated by the sign. In several emails, Aurora residents have said they would like to see the sign shut off.
Still, Aurora City Councilwoman Marsha Berzins, whose council ward includes the theater, said she hasn’t heard any complaints.
“Nope, not one,” she said.
Berzins, who said she supports tearing the theater down and replacing it with a new one, said constituents have called her about what they would like to see happen to the theater in the long run, but none have called specifically about the lights.
Mayor Steve Hogan said he, too, hadn’t heard complaints about the lights. But, Hogan said, he imagines area residents are split about what to do with the lights just as they are about what to do with the theater in general.
“Some people are going to say, ‘If you shut off the lights, the shooter won,’” he said.