In more evidence that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and gift certificates, Cinemark—owner of the theater in Aurora, Colorado, that was the site of July's deadly mass shooting—has incensed family members of the victims, after it sent them an invitation to come to the reopened theater for a free movie screening, all as part of a "special night of remembrance." Fifteen of those relatives responded to the invitation with a letter published in the Denver Post, in which they blast the "disgusting offer" to return to the place where their loved ones died as "wholly offensive"—an offense compounded by its timing, with the invitation arriving "two days after Christmas" amid an obviously grief-stricken holiday season.
Complicating matters is the feeling among the families that Cinemark hasn't shown them proper attention or sympathy prior to this gesture: "Our family members will never be on this earth with us again, and a movie ticket and some token words from people who didn't care enough to reach out to us, nor respond when we reached out to them to talk, is appalling," the letter reads, partly criticizing the theater for not providing more of those token words earlier, we guess (beyond the Cinemark CEO's almost-immediate extension of condolences to them, as well as the company's reportedly offering to pay for funeral expenses).
Of course, complicating the families' demand that they be able to speak to Cinemark, "parent to parent with no lawyers involved," is the fact that many of the victims—who have now called for an out-and-out boycott of the Aurora theater—are also currently suing Cinemark for not providing adequate security, with that ongoing litigation definitely making it difficult for anyone to talk without lawyers present. Still, it's probably not the best idea to bridge that rocky divide with an invitation to come see a movie in the, as the families put it, "killing field of our children." (Particularly if that movie is Parental Guidance, in which case, DEFINITELY NO THANK YOU.)