Silver screens lure Stevenson back to Chateau

The Mitch is back.

After a three-year intermission with the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mitch Stevensonis stepping back into the world of popcorn and previews.

Stevenson, well known for opening and managing the Chateau Theatrein northeast Rochester from 2001 to 2008, is being called back onto the lobby carpet to take back on the role he created when Rochester developer Gus Chafouliasbuilt the 14-screen movie theatre.

He stayed with the theater when it was purchased by Midwest Theatres/ CineMagicin 2006. He left in 2008 to sell the city of Rochester as a venue for conventions and sporting events.

Following the abrupt closure of the theater at the end of January, Florida-based Paragon Theaterstook ownership of the theater from CineMagic.


Now a $1 million to $1.5 million renovation is under way at the theater and when it re-opens in a few weeks, Stevenson will again be in the director’s chair at Chateau.

"We're so excited to bring Mitch on board. He originally opened this theater and he fundamentally knows what works here," said Becky Manuelof Paragon when announcing his role. "He plays an integral role in this community, and we know he'll be an extremely valuable asset to the Paragon Chateau 14 and her patrons."

On the other side of the movie aisle, RCVB Executive Director Brad Jonesis adjusting to the end of Stevenson's run working for him.

"He is a great relationship builder. It was great while it lasted, but his true love is with the movies," said Jones.

When Stevenson officially leaves next week, Jones said he will start working on a plan to tweak how things work at the convention bureau. Once things are shifted a bit to create more efficiency, then Jones will fill Stevenson’s position as a sales manager for the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mitch is not the only familiar face from the Chateau’s early days that will be seen once again at the theater.

Look for the most popular dragon in Rochester – Chester the Dragon– to swoop back in to the Chateau.

Biz buzz


Spotted some smoke signals today that might mean a new tenant is on the way for the Rochester restaurant building at 2280 Superior Drive N.W.

That's the former home of Catch 22 Bar & Grilland before that it was Leo's Pizza Palace.

Catch 22 closed in December.

So what's next for the spot that overlooks Superior Drive and the Hollywood CineMagicmovie theater?

We'll see. A deal is cooking. If it pans out, it could be mean some tasty competition for some Rochester eateries.

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