Court allows temporary restraining order against Tower Theatre in legal fight over its sale

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno's Tower Theatre won't be sold off for now.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled to stop the sale of the Valley landmark temporarily.

Earlier this month, the owners of Sequoia Brewing Company, which occupies part of the Tower Theatre property, filed a lawsuit saying their lease agreement with the theatre's owners gives them the right to buy the property if it's up for sale.

RELATED: Tower Theatre owners, Adventure Church 'conspired to conceal sale,' Sequoia Brewing Company lawsuit says

Sequoia Brewing Company accused Tower Theatre Properties of fraudulent concealment, for not notifying them of the potential sale to Adventure Church, claiming it's a violation of their right of first refusal to buy the venue.

Sequoia also claimed Adventure Church knew about their right of first refusal and conspired to conceal the sale.

It believes the church and the landlord had been negotiating since August.

During Wednesday's hearing, an attorney for the brewing company says the right of first refusal in the lease requires the landlord to disclose its offer from the church.

RELATED: Protesters line sidewalk outside Tower Theatre as sale dispute continues

Meanwhile, an attorney representing the Tower Theatre claims that if the sale goes through, Adventure Church would be willing to allow Sequoia Brewing Company to buy its premises for $1.2 million.

Judge Rosemary McGuire says the ruling was made with the intent of allowing the court to receive more information about contract issues, including witness testimony.

The judge encouraged both parties to settle the matter outside the courtroom.

Adventure Church declined to comment on Wednesday's ruling. The legal battle over the sale of the Tower Theatre will continue in court on March 17.
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