Fresno · Real Estate

Judge clears path for Fresno to close Tower Theatre purchase

The City of Fresno’s attempt to purchase the historic Tower Theatre is now an inevitability following a favorable ruling from a Fresno County judge.

Last week, Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan issued a tentative ruling to deny a motion by Adventure Church to halt the sale of the theater to the city. 

Adventure Church, which has been attempting to purchase the theater since 2020, filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the city after the Fresno City Council voted to purchase the theater. 

Culver Kapetan made her tentative ruling final on Friday as she officially denied the motion by the church to put the sale on hold. 

“After argument, this court took the matter under advisement,” Culver Kapetan wrote in her ruling. “After reviewing all of the pleadings and considering the arguments of counsel, the court finds no basis to deviate from its tentative ruling. The Ruling is adopted without modification.” 

That makes the city’s takeover of the theater just a matter of time. 

In court last week, an attorney for the city told Kapetan that the city, which was expected to close escrow last Friday, could close on Monday. 

There was not a formal announcement issued by the city by close of business Monday. 

But the Fresno City Council met in closed session during Monday’s budget hearings to discuss the deal with theater owner Laurence Abbate. 

Adventure Church did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at