A few weeks ago I got wind of a troubling rumor that a conservative church was trying to buy the historic Tower Theatre and turn it into a church. Obviously, this would be an alarming development for our local gay community if they were successful in doing so. Giving an anti-gay religious organization, of any kind, a foot hold in the Tower would be no less than a fly in the apothecary of tolerance and safety of the area. The longer term impacts on our local LGBTQ film festival and our local pride celebration could be no less than disastrous. If you want to read that original post you can do so here. After making some phone calls and sending out some emails to shake the bush some to see what fell out I was elated to see some drastic developments in this local saga reported by GV Wire earlier today.
The city of Fresno is ordering the current owners of the Tower Theatre to prevent Adventure Church from holding indoor services. This is an addition to a memo from Fresno’s new city manager indicating that the church — which is in escrow to purchase the theater — would need to obtain a zoning change to hold services at the iconic venue in the future. Since the news broke this week about the theater’s sale, many in the community have expressed concern that not only a house of worship could soon take over, but the effect it may have on other Tower District businesses. Generally, city regulations prohibit the sale of alcohol and legal cannabis in close proximity to a church. GV Wire℠ has been able to confirm that the sale of the Tower Theatre to Adventure Church is expected to close at the end of January.David Taub, GV Wire
It’s unclear to me at this point if the sale of the property and buildings can be blocked but I am happy this all is coming into the light of day and that the City of Fresno is getting actively involved. We’ll be sure to keep our ear to the ground and keep you all informed.