'Take Back the Movies' Gives Free Tickets to Theatergoers in Denver, Aurora After Shooting

Dark Knight Rises Shooting Aurora Colorado Theater - H 2012
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Dark Knight Rises Shooting Aurora Colorado Theater - H 2012

A Colorado resident organized a massive donation and volunteer drive to bring some cheer back to a community stricken by loss.

Shortly after James Holmes' shooting spree at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, there was a movement to encourage people to push past any potential trepidation they may have and attend a movie showing; it would send a message that Americans could not be intimidated by violence. 

Three weeks later, the very community that was hit with Holmes' violence was given a helping hand in returning to the theaters.

A local software engineer named Jason Cole organized an online movement called Take Back the Movies, which urged people to buy tickets for community members in Denver and Aurora. He raised money online to buy passes, and told others to be neighborly and buy seats for people standing in line at cineplexes. His group targeted five theaters in those cities, and overall, bought 1300 movie tickets for theatergoers on Sunday.

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On his blog, Cole wrote, "For the 60+ volunteers who showed up, some just showing up at the theaters without even asking beforehand, it was a chance to join together with strangers to bless other strangers, to show love in the face of hate and bravery in the face of violence.

"For more than 1300 people who received the gift of a movie today, it was a chance for the rest of their community to reach out and show them they were loved," Cole continued. "Hopefully, it inspired them to pass that love along to others when they left the theater, walking out of the darkness and into the light."

The Bourne Legacy won the box office this past weekend, while The Dark Knight Rises came in third, behind the Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis political satire, The Campaign.

This is the latest effort to soothe the pain of Aurorans; previously, Batman star Christian Bale visited the city, as did President Obama.