FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Members of the Save the Tower Theater committee gathered at the Sequoia Brewing Company on the afternoon of Aug. 7 following their final cleanup of protest memorabilia from the building next door.
The group had been using the empty Chicken Pie Shop building on Olive Street as a storage facility for their posters and signs.
“The owner of the Chicken Pie Shop has been very gracious over the last year to allow us the use of her parking lot,” said Jaguar Bennett. “And to store our materials in her building and now that Adventure Church is no longer at the Tower Theater and we have ceased our demonstrations, it was time to have a cleanup.”
The group will no longer need their materials. The city of Fresno bought the Tower Theater in April 2021.
“The city of Fresno has done a great, bold step I cannot applaud the leadership of the city council enough by purchasing the Tower Theater,” Bennett said. “The message for the city is that Fresno has got to get a lot more serious about preserving its historic spaces, its artistic spaces, its community spaces.”
Adventure Church of Fresno began leasing the building with plans to buy it.
“Putting a church in the middle of a neighborhood that is zoned for bars, nightclubs, and nightlife, that was going to call into question the entire economic basis of this neighborhood,” he said.
The church may still be able to use the building however Bennett said this is a big step for preserving the theater and maintaining the integrity and culture of the Tower District.