TOWER UPDATE 01/27: As ‘Save the Tower’ folks gear up for a pitched battle, they ask you to sign another letter of dissent

Save the Tower Theatre Facebook page

Things are heating up in the fight over whether the iconic Tower Theatre, long an anchor of a free-spirited and welcoming Tower District, will be sold to a church. The Fresno City Council meets in closed session on Thursday afternoon to discuss the multiplying legal complications. (And I’m sure that council members, mindful of the more than 2,100 potential voters who signed a letter of dissent that I published last week on The Munro Review, will be considering political complexities as well.) This isn’t the dramatic final vote that will see the council members going on record deciding the issue, but it’s a step in that direction.

The Save the Tower Theatre campaign, organized by Tyler Mackey of the Tower District Marketing Committee and supported by The Fools Collaborative (a local performance group) and the Rogue Festival, is encouraging people to sign another petition, this one called a “Community Request for Injunctive Relief.” From the campaign:

We need your signature again!  You can find the Google form here. We ask that you only sign if you are a current or former resident of Fresno County, you are over 18 and you are willing to fill out all answers correctly.

Also, the campaign is asking people to email/write/call council members and Mayor Jerry Dyer and “let them know that you hope they do right by the business owners and residents of Tower District. This is especially important if you live in Luis Chavez’s or Mike Karbassi’s district, who are thought to be the potential swing voters on this matter.”

The Fresno City Council agenda for Thursday includes these two items related to the sale:


The Abbate Family Trust, owner of the Tower Theatre (which includes the entire block the property sits upon, including auxiliary buildings), is in the process of selling it to Adventure Church. The transaction is in escrow. Even if the sale is finalized, however, there’s a big battle to come on zoning and how nearby businesses will be impacted.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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