A Whittier historic preservation group was granted a temporary restraining order Wednesday to block demolition of the Whittier Theater--one day before wrecking crews were to begin tearing down the 1930s-era film palace.
The request was filed by organizers of Save Our Historic Buildings, a group that was formed after the October earthquakes. The group claims that it has gathered more than 2,000 signatures in support of saving the theater.
The lawsuit contended that the city failed to comply with provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act requiring an environmental impact report before a historic building can be demolished. City officials had declared the theater unsafe and said the earthquake disaster area declaration exempted them from requiring the report.
The restraining order will be in effect until Dec. 8, when a hearing will be held in Superior Court in Los Angeles.