Denver cinema closed Tuesday after Aurora copycat threat

By John Moore

www.CultureWest.org


Denver police are on the lookout for a man whose threatening call to the Esquire Theatre prompted the sudden closure of the cinema Tuesday night.

“This is an open and active investigation, and we’re looking into it,” Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson told www.CultureWest.org.

The Esquire was closed as a precautionary measure at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, after the caller reached the manager on duty and threatened to bring a gun to a local Landmark Theatre “and shoot everyone inside,” sources said.

The man apparently used a voice synthesizer and identified himself as a friend of James Holmes, who is accused of opening fire last month at an Aurora cinema during a midnight premiere of the latest “Batman” movie,  leaving 12 dead and injuring 58 others. Jackson could not confirm the content of the call.

Jackson would not comment on unconfirmed reports that the still-unidentified caller has placed similar threats to other area theaters, but he added that it was not the Denver Police Department’s recommendation for the Esquire to close for the night. It was Landmark officials who made the call that it was better to be safe than sorry, he said.

“We’re not going to demand that anyone close  their establishment,” Jackson said.

No other Landmark Theatres were closed Tuesday, and the Esquire was expected to re-open today.

Neither Landmark national spokesperson Lauren Kleiman nor regional publicist David Kimball returned requests for comment.

John Moore: moore433@comcast.net or 303-953-9907