Cinemark CEO Comments on Aurora Shootings During Earnings Call

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Cinemark Holdings CEO Tim Warner on Monday started his company's earnings conference call with comments about the victims of the Dark Knight Rises shootings in one of the movie theater chain's cinemas in Aurora, Colo., last month.

But he didn't provide new details on the tragedy or what the company is doing in its aftermath as analysts honored a request to focus questions on other business topics.

"We would like to thank and acknowledge the endeavors of all those who acted with immense strength and bravery in assisting the victims, including patrons, our employees, the police department, the emergency crew responders and the area hospitals that treated the victims," he said. "We are also grateful for the governmental leadership, including the governor's, the chief of staff, the mayor of Aurora, the chief of police and the many charitable and business organizations providing assistance."

Warner also said that under the leadership of theater industry group NATO, "the theater industry has collaborated to help the victims and their families -- as have our studio partners."

The CEO continued by vowing to limit his comments to pay respect to the 12 people killed and dozens wounded in the attack during one of the early screenings of The Dark Knight Rises. "Out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be addressing any details regarding the tragedy or our specific efforts," he said.

He concluded by thanking everyone for "the outpouring of support" and saying that "our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, their families and loved ones, our employees and the entire Aurora community ... as they continue to heal."

Analysts had no further questions about the topic after Cinemark asked them to refrain from inquiring about the shooting spree and its fallout.

Through a spokesperson for its attorney, Cinemark, operator of the Century Aurora 16, declined to comment on whether the rear door that police say Holmes used was alarmed but disabled, but there is no indication it was. At another Cinemark theater, the Century 16 Bel Mar in Lakewood, the doors leading to parking lots are not alarmed and remained that way last week.

The Denver Post reported on Monday that, through a spokesperson for its attorney, Cinemark declined to comment on whether the rear door that police now say the shooter in Aurora used to enter the cinema had an alarm that was disabled or had no alarm. The paper said that at another Cinemark theater, the doors leading to parking lots had no alarms, although no alarms are required.

The exhibitor chain reported a 28 percent jump in second-quarter earnings tied to increases in admissions and concession revenue.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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