A judge issued the tentative ruling on Tuesday.
The city may take the property by eminent domain, and an appraisal will help set the value.
Fresno is also concerned about preservation, and an architectural historian will also take a look inside.
The theater's owner has been trying to sell it to Adventure Church and rejects the city's attempts to go in.
They now have 30 days to arrange a visit unless they extend the legal fight.