Taking Back the Movies in Aurora: Event Offers Insight for Restoring Hope after Tragedy, Says Faith-based Website

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Unique campaign to hand out free movie tickets shows “endless” possibilities for making a difference, says faith-based website, followme.org.

followme.org: One man used his love for movies as a tool to redeem a tragedy. In the process, he’s equipping a whole community to live without fear, to move forward.

There are endless opportunities for remedying fear in the aftermath of a tragedy, says faith-based website, followme.org.

That statement came today in response to the story of Jason Cole, a Colorado software engineer who came up with a unique way to restore hope in the wake of last month’s Aurora theater shooting.

Last Saturday, three weeks after the deadly Aurora theater shooting, 60 volunteers stood outside movie theaters in the Denver area with a simple message: tonight they were going to take back the movies. Their strategy: hand out free movie tickets to theater-goers.

Jason Cole, the event’s organizer, described its purpose on the event’s website: “Tonight the movie’s on us. Go, enjoy. This isn’t a fundraiser; it’s not a memorial service. Some jerk tried to steal a night of fun from all of us. Tonight, we’re giving it back.”

And it worked. On Saturday night, 60 volunteers handed out over 1,300 tickets to theater-goers at five Denver-area movie theaters, according to Denver-based 9News.

Jason Cole, 41, devised this “attempt to shed a little bit of light in the darkness” after seeing “Dark Knight Rises” with his family, two days after the Aurora shootings that killed 12 people and injured 58 more, Cole told Parade Magazine.

Some of the volunteers on Saturday had a personal connection to the Aurora tragedy. Volunteer Tyler Killingbeck arrived at the ill-fated Aurora theater for the July 20 midnight showing of “Dark Knight Rises” only to discover the showing was already sold out. “I don’t want to let one person affect my whole life,” Killingbeck told 9News.

It was this sort of pressing on in the face of fear that motivated many of the theater-goers on Saturday night. “This was a chance to respond positively to fear and grief,” Cole wrote on the “Take Back the Movies” website.

Businesses in the Denver area leapt onboard Cole’s campaign, too, raising over $9,000 for the one-night event, according to 9News. Dave Meyer, the CEO of one of the donating companies, described his interest in the event. “This weekend is about refusing to live in fear and reminding ourselves that there are more good people out there than bad,” he told Parade Magazine.

Can Cole’s act of kindness be the kick-starter for further acts of generosity? One faith-based website seems optimistic. Pastor Jamie of faith-based website, followme.org, says that Cole’s project “shows yet another way that one person can make a huge difference.”

“One man used his love for movies as a tool to redeem a tragedy. In the process, he’s equipping a whole community to live without fear, to move forward. The possibilities are endless for people who want to make a difference,” he said.

Indeed, Cole is serious about redeeming the movies for Denver theater-goers. “I wanted to do something beyond just writing a check,” Cole told Parade Magazine. After helping to restore hope for 1,300 affected by the Aurora shooting, Cole certainly has fulfilled that goal.

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