For the past year or so, the homophobic Adventure Church has been trying to sink their poisonous fangs straight into the heart of the most (if not only) prominent gay district in Fresno, the Tower District. The owners of the Tower Theatre apparently agreed to give the entire Tower Theatre (TT) property to the Adventure Church (AC) for $4.8 million. Yet, just a few days ago, AC is now suing the TT owners, saying they want the deal completed and for the TT owners to cover all legal fees. What happened with the deal?
While AC has dealt with many protests and opposition (such as from the Save the Tower Theatre Committee) their biggest obstacle has been the Sequoia Brewing Company’s bar nearby. The owners had a trump card; they own a portion of the property and have the first right to refusal to sell it. Yup, the deal was flawed, as the Tower Theatre owners had already started the process of selling before even letting Sequoia Brewing know. Sequoia Brewing’s owners sued to halt the sale and successfully won in court last month on the 19th.
This halt temporary, but it does buy time (it can be several months apparently) for the Fresno City Council to act. There are still a few issues, however. The church still meets at the theatre every Sunday. But they also violate zoning laws an issue that would apparently still be present even if the sale goes through. The final issue is that the deal may be completed for AC simply by excluding Sequoia Brewing’s portion of the property.
What can do the city do anyway? Well, at one point in early 2021, AC has been fined 3 times ($250 each fine) for violating those pesky zoning laws, an issue which AC claimed was unfairly targeting them. The reason? The Tower Theatre simply isn’t zoned for church assembly in the first place. As if being in the heart of a gay district and facing opposition wasn’t enough reason to GTFO… I don’t understand why the fines aren’t coming anymore, especially after they held a concert (which also flew in the face of COVID-19 protocols that year).