FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – For almost a year now, dozens of demonstrators have been protesting outside the Tower Theatre on Sunday mornings due to the sale of the theatre to Adventure Church.
But on Wednesday night demonstrators wanted to send a message after the church held a special event welcoming their top faith leader, Randy Remington, who heads the Foursquare Church an evangelical Christian denomination based in Los Angeles.
Wednesday nights protest is the latest in the ongoing drama over the Tower Theatre.
“I’m just not going to put up with it. I’m not going to be wrapped into this idea that ministers and churches are this way. We’re not this way,” says Reverend Lilly Reed of Fresno’s Unity Spiritual Center.
Reed says she has acted as a faith representative in the ongoing protests over the sale of the Tower Theatre to Adventure Church.
On Wednesday night the church welcomed the president of the Foursquare Church, a pentecostal branch of Christianity that Adventure Church says it is affiliated with according to the church’s website. Church leaders wouldn’t speak to us on camera at the demonstration but told us they feel harassed by the protestors. But protestors feel the exact opposite.
“I’m a Tower resident, I’m part of the community,” Reed said. “My church is completely open and affirming to anyone in this community. And what is happening here is not okay.”
Other protestors say the special demonstration organized Wednesday night will hopefully send a message to the Foursquare Church leader on how the sale of the Tower Theatre to Adventure Church is impacting the tower district.
Derek Payton, owner of a communal workspace for the local tech industry in Tower, says as a business owner, he wants to see the Tower Theatre used as it has been for decades.
“I run a community space, and a lot of the people in our community are supportive of the tower as a whole and want to keep the Tower Theatre as it is,” Payton said.
Now the legal challenge over the sale of the tower theatre is stalled in the courts.
According to other court documents, the City of Fresno is looking into the preservation of the theatre’s historical features and could take over ownership of the theatre through eminent domain through a court ruling.
But, adventure church pastor Anthony Flores said tonight he’s confident the theatre will remain in his church’s hands.