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Chateau gets ready for showtime

Look for the movies to start rolling again at the Chateau Theatresbefore the end of March.

The cineplex in northeast Rochester has been closed since Midwest Theatres/CineMagicshut the doors and turned off the projectors at the end of January.

Soon after the CineMagic's ending there, a new owner took over and began revamping the 14-screen theater.

And now the Florida-based Paragon Theatersis close wrapping up work and re-launching in the latest addition to the theater's saga, which is now a trilogy with different directors for each incarnation.

"We will kick this thing off in March," says theater manager Mitch Stevenson. "Some staff and management are undergoing training now."

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He expects to have about 50 on staff when the doors open after the more than $1.5 million in renovations are complete.

Those renovations include:

• New Sony 4K HD all-digital projector technology.

• More 3-D capability

• A beer/wine bar in the lobby

• An overall upgrade of the interior with new carpet and new paint for a new look.

While many people say that Rochester is overscreened as far as movie theaters, Paragon Theaters CEO Mike Whalensays, "I don't think the market is overscreened, I think it is underserved."

However this latest interpretation of the Chateau plays out, it does include some familiar casting.

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Stevenson is well-known for playing a key part in every chapter of the theater's storyline.

He helped launch it in 2001, when it was built and opened by Rochester developer Gus Chafoulias.

Stevenson stayed with the Chateau when it was purchased by Midwest Theatres/CineMagic in 2006. He left in 2008 to work with the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

And now he is back in the world of blockbusters and concessions.

When the Chateau first opened in 2001, it featured a large food menu and a full kitchen. CineMagic closed the kitchen and went to a traditional concession stand when it took over. Stevenson says the company still is working out details on whether it will bring back a larger menu.

Biz buzz

Look for the labor union representing workers at a Rochester hotel to stage a large rally and picket in downtown today, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

UNITE HERE Local 21is in a contract dispute with the owner of the Rochester City Center Hotel, formerly a Holiday Inn Express. The rally is scheduled to be in front of the hotel at at 220 S. Broadway.

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"We have been in contract negotiations with hotel owner Mike Bhatkafor several months and he has given us a final offer which the union has rejected," says union president Brian Brandtin a statement.

Bhatka says he is instituting a contract this week, which he describes as "competitive."

Brandt says the contract cuts housekeepers' wages by $3 an hour and the pay of the only remaining maintenance worker by $5 an hour. He says the contract that the union opposing also takes away all health coverage, sick pay and pension benefits.

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