Last week, the owners of the local brewery and restaurant filed a lawsuit saying their lease agreement with the theater's owners give them the right to buy the property if it's up for sale.
The brewing company accuses Tower Theatre Properties of fraudulent concealment, for not notifying them of the potential sale, violating the brewery's right of first refusal to buy the venue.
RELATED: Sequoia Brewing Company to take legal action in Tower Theatre dispute
They also now claim the church committed tortious interference with the brewery's contract and that Adventure Church knew about their right of first refusal and conspired to conceal the sale.
They accuse Tower Theatre Properties of fraudulent concealment.— Corin Hoggard (@corinhoggard) February 18, 2021
In other words, they say the landlord's refusal to notify them of a sale or even tell them the terms is a violation of their right of first refusal. pic.twitter.com/5w2MjmmNWO
They've also accused the church of tortious interference with the @SequoiaBrewCo contract.— Corin Hoggard (@corinhoggard) February 18, 2021
The lawsuit says the church knew about the right of first refusal, acknowledged it, and conspired with the landlord to conceal the sale from Sequoia's owners to violate their contract. pic.twitter.com/O6QfBLyQ6m
Community members have protested the potential sale, saying the diverse and LGBTQ-friendly district would lose a valuable entertainment venue if the building is sold to a church.
Last week, the Tower District Marketing Committee released a statement saying it "stands in solidarity" with Sequoia Brewing Company. The Painted Table, an events company that is housed in the building next to the theater, who previously expressed interest in buying the theater to stop the sale to the church, also said it supports Sequoia Brewing Company.
RELATED: Fresno native Audra McDonald tweets support for Tower Theatre amid ongoing controversy
The dispute has also attracted the attention of celebrities, including comedian Sarah Silverman and Fresno native and Tony-award winning actress Audra McDonald.