There are some noticeable changes to the inside and outside of the theater, yet the structure of the old theater number nine remains largely intact.

It was inside that refurbished theater where city and state leaders told the audience of what the night meant to them.

"We will not let this tragedy define us," Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said inside what's now known as theater XD. "Aurora is strong and caring, and our focus remains on the road before us."

Cinemark's CEO called the shootings "random" and "unpredictable," words the company has used in legal motions during its ongoing defense against numerous lawsuits. He also welcome the chance to come back to Aurora.

"Tonight we are grateful to be with you and this entire community," Tim Warner said. "This act is a testament that good always triumphs over evil."

"Colorado is with you," said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to the audience while acknowledging that some have voiced their concerns about the theater reopening.

Mike White was in theater 9 with his son the night of the shooting. His son suffered a gunshot wound. He said he had no intention of coming back.

"For me, personally, it's like walking over a cemetery," he said.

The theater will open to the general public on Friday with a weekend full of free movies.