Council to hear from three potential operators of the Chateau Theatre – Med City Beat

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The Rochester City Council will review three proposals for the future of the Chateau Theatre at Monday afternoon’s study session.
Community Enrichment Team: A team of city department heads — from Civic Music, Parks & Recreation, and the Public Library — are proposing they work together to take over operations of the Chateau. They said their plan would activate the space 180 days or more per year with events, about 40 percent of which would be put on by community groups and nonprofits. The plan also calls for using the space for city-led programming, such as global music concerts and adaptive recreation activities. An estimated 25 percent of the calendar would go to private gatherings.
Threshold Arts: Led by Naura Anderson, Threshold’s vision for the Chateau is to work a “wide variety of partner organizations” on cultural programming — including gallery exhibitions, theater, and music. They also outlined the potential for retail and café space. Special events, like weddings, would be held to help offset costs. Threshold has worked with the likes of My Town My Music and Absolute Theatre to put on events at the nearby Castle. It also operates an art gallery downtown along Broadway.
Barlow/Van Hook: This proposal, from Stephen Barlow and Daniel Van Hook, seeks to make the Chateau “a vibrant entertainment, education, and cultural hub in the Heart of the City.” They also pledge to partner with local nonprofits and civic organizations. Their calendar, according to the proposal, would be “ever changing” — classic movies, talks from poets and writers, and musical performances are all listed as possibilities.
The City of Rochester opened up a request for proposals (RFP) in August with the goal of finding a new operator for the historic theater.
The building, constructed in 1927, has been vacant since the previous tenant, Exhibits Development Group, moved out earlier this year.
The next tenant will be responsible for managing the day-to-day building operations — though the city will retain ownership of the Chateau.
The city paid $6 million for the theater back in 2016, and has since invested $1.8 million into renovating the building.
The full proposals from all three groups can be found here.
Sean Baker is a Rochester journalist and the founder of Med City Beat.
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