Denver cinema closed Tuesday after Aurora copycat threat

By John Moore

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

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: or 303-953-9907



By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at