Shooting victims' families call theater invitation 'disgusting'
Christmas Day could not pass quickly enough for Sandy Phillips. Her daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was one of 12 people killed five months ago in the spray of bullets at a packed Aurora, Colo., movie theater.
On Dec. 27, she received an email from the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance. It was an invitation from the Aurora theater’s parent company to Phillips and her husband to attend the theater's grand reopening on Jan. 17.
Disbelief turned to fury for the San Antonio woman, who said Cinemark was being insensitive to the families of victims. She wondered whether the invitation -- the first communication she said she had received from the movie company -- was some sort of publicity stunt.
"For most of us, we have not been able to set foot in a theater and may never be able to," Phillips told the Los Angeles Times. "It’s like they are trying to use us as PR, as if to say, 'See, they have forgiven us; you should too and come to our theater.' "
A group of 15 family members of victims sent a strongly worded letter Wednesday to Cinemark, calling the event “disgusting” and warning that they would encourage others not to attend the event and to boycott the theater chain.
Cinemark had no immediate response to the letter.