Theater Where Fatal Shooting Happened Scheduled To Reopen

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — Nearly four months after two women were shot to death and nine others wounded, the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana will reopen next week.

         The New Orleans Advocate’s Lanie Lee Cook reports that City-Parish President Joey Durel Monday toured the theater and purchased the first ticket for the Nov. 19 opening.

         "While we understand that the victims and their families will recover at their own pace, I think it's important that we as a community get back to normal," Durel said in a phone interview.

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         The theater has been closed since Alabama gunman John Houser opened fire July 23 about 20 minutes into a showing of the film "Trainwreck." Houser fatally shot himself as authorities entered the auditorium.

         Durel said the theater is completely renovated, with a new concessions stand and "more comfortable, wider seating." His ticket is for the premiere of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2."

         The theater's only public statement since the shooting — two sentences posted to The Grand 16's website offering condolences for the victims and the community of Lafayette — had been removed by Monday afternoon.

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         Fresh paint in red and blue accented the theater's sand-colored façade on Monday as a worker replaced its marquee lights along Johnston Street. Faded paper stars, stuffed animals and other mementos left in tribute to the victims remained at the marquee's base.

         Jillian Johnson, 33, of Lafayette, and 21-year-old Mayci Breaux, of Franklin, died in the shooting.

         Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said in late October investigators are almost done with a report on the shooting, including a timeline of events and in-depth investigation into Houser, who had been living in Lafayette for a month before the shooting.

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