PASADENA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The historic Raymond Theatre has run out of appeals. According to the Pasadena Star-News, the last barrier to developer Gene Buchanan plans to turn the theatre into a retail/office/residential complex have been cleared by the courts.
A group of 7,500 volunteers, the Friends of the Raymond had been working to save the building, filing lawsuits against the City of Pasadena, accusing the city of violating its own rules and California environmental regulations when it gave the developers permission to go forward with the project. Buchanan, the current owner of the theatre was also named in the suit.
On November 14 Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled that the city officials had followed the procedures laid down by the city and were entirely in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.
"I'm absolutely delighted," Buchanan told the Pasadena Star-News on Thursday "I was very straightforward in saying the suit was meritless on virtually everything. I think this vindicates us a little bit. We've been saying all along we've been doing everything according to code and working with the city."
It is unlikely that the California Supreme Court will hear the case.
For Gina Zamperelli, a concert promoter, former theater manager and founder of the Friends of the Raymond, the ruling nearly brings to a close 18 years of struggle.
"Despite the court ruling, there is no disputing the reason we lost the Raymond Theatre. It is because of the unfair actions and decisions made by both the city and the Buchanans," she told the Pasadena Star-News. "In the end, I don't think 7,500 supporters would follow this project for 18 years and continue to donate and support our work if we were the ones lying to the public."
Buchanan had said that he intends to keep as much of the theatre intact as possible, including the auditorium, the lobby and the mezzanine and the facade, which will be restored. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers