Some people believe that if Cinemark does not re-open theater 9 at the Century 16 movie complex, then that means the shooter has won. Other people say that it is disrespectful to the victims and their families to go back to business as usual in theater 9 where it all took place.
Perhaps, the best way to look into the future is to look into the past.
"One of the things that we were so adamant about was not returning it into the library where so many of the students were murdered and injured," Frank DeAngelis, principal of Columbine High School, said.
He was there in 1999 when 12 students and one teacher were killed. He says it was a struggle to decide what to do with the building immediately after the shootings.
Some people thought Columbine should never be reopened.
"There's times I have flashbacks to what I had witnessed," DeAngelis said.
After the Columbine shootings, a committee of victims, families, students, and teachers was formed. It was called HOPE, standing for Healing of People Everywhere. They worked together to gather input to decide what to do with the building.
"We wanted to make sure everyone was represented," DeAngelis said.
Family members like Craig Scott appreciate it. Not only was Scott in the school at the time of the shooting, but his sister Rachel was the first one killed.
"My first day of school when I returned to Columbine, I broke down where Rachel was killed," Scott said.
He believes that Cinemark should do the same things that was done at Columbine. He believes that before any decision is made on the future of Theater 9, it should be a decision that lies with the victims and their families.
"I really think we should let it be up to them," Scott said.
Today, there's an atrium where the old library used to be. On the ceiling is a mural with 13 clouds to represent each victim and to represent peace. There's a new library in an expanded portion of the building. And, the sidewalk where Rachel Scott and Richard Castaldo were shot is no more.
"We had to look at what was in the best interest [of the victims], and that's why [we got] the input of the families who had lost their children," DeAngelis said.
Cinemark, the owners of the Century 16 Theaters, released the following statement Tuesday:
"Cinemark is deeply saddened about this tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees, and the Aurora community. We are grateful for the quick and professional reaction of all local law enforcement and emergency responders. Cinemark is working closely with the Aurora Police Department and local law enforcement."
Cinemark has not decided what to do with the Theater at this time.
In other shooting incidents, the decisions have varied. In 1993, five people were shot in a Chuck E. Cheese Pizza restaurant in Aurora. That building was shut down and a new business was put in place. In 2006, a gunman took hostages in a classroom at Platte Canyon High School near Bailey before killing one student. That room is still intact.
DeAngelis says whatever decision is made, it should not be rushed. But, he admits no matter what changes are made, some things will never change.
"When I walk down this hallway, it's tough for me," DeAngelis said.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly reported Columbine survivor Richard Castaldo was shot and killed. Castaldo was shot during the 1999 massacre but survived. 9NEWS regrets the error.
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