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Group wins temporary injunction to block Evans drive-in demolition

The Friends of the Grandview won a temporary court injunction in State Supreme Court on Friday to block the immediate demolition of a drive-in theater in Evans, members of the group said.

The group learned this week that the theater, located on property slated for a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter, was being targeted for immediate demolition. So the group quickly sought a court order to prevent the demolition, said Tony Troidl, a member of the organization.

Friends of the Grandview also held a protest Wednesday outside the theater, at Route 5 and Lake Avenue.

"The ultimate goal is to purchase the property from the owner and turn it into a community-run theater," he said. "We want to renovate it to what it used to be."

The group will return to court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday for a decision on extending the injunction to February 2008, Troidl said.

The national retailer still has to go through an environmental review and the Town of Evans approval process, which will last at least through the fall.

But Ed Carbeck, the owner of the property, wrote a letter to the Town Board calling for the immediate demolition of the theater.

Evans Code Enforcement Officer Charles LaBarbara said Wednesday that no demolition permits had been sought yet.

"Our goal right now is to make sure nothing happens prior to studies being done," he said.

The drive-in was built in 1949 and opened in 1950.

"The Friends of the Grandview are passionate about this structure," Troidl said. "Families for three and four generations have spent quality time, sitting in their cars, on blankets and chairs enjoying a night under the stars."

e-mail: esapong@buffnews.com

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