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February 11, 2011

Familiar faces return to Roch.'s Chateau

The Mitch is back.

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

02112011chateautheatresStevenson, well known for opening and managing the Chateau Theatres in 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 Chafoulias built the 14-screen movie theatre.

He stayed with the theater when it was purchased by Midwest Theatres/ CineMagic in 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 Theaters took 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 Manuel of 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 Jones is 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.




This is absolutely FANTASTIC news. He did an EXCELLENT job running the theater.

This is very good news!

When they re-open, hopefully they go back to turning on those neon lights on the outside of the building.

YES!!!! Quite possibly the most brilliant business move EVER! Mitch made Chateau amazing and movies in Rochester were never the same without him! Welcome back Mitch!

Let the give-a-ways begin. Can't wait to get all the free tickets Mitch always gives out!!!! I never paid for movies when he was running the place!

So good to hear!! I look forward to seeing Mitch's always smiling face again! I have never seen a theater as well managed as Chateau was under his guard.

I agree, the expereince was never the same after Mitch left- long lines- no ice, no straws and no TP in the bathrooms. Mitch set the bar high and it was always nice to see him there. I am so very pleased to hear this news. Welcome back my friend!

Why if Mitch ran it "So" well did it lose money every year! He gave away the farm, that is what he did, and the theatre lost big $$....

Somehow, I think this theatre owner will put a shorter leash on Mitch, unlike Chafolius, who let him do anything he wanted....Bottom line is, you can't give away everything...If you don't make money, Paragon Theatres will still lose money...

This is great news. We enjoyed going to this theather, it is the closest to our house. But during this time we actually would drive past it to go to another theather. It was just not the same. We are looking forward to going back to "our" theather. Welcome back Mitch!

I'm glad the Chateau is being brought up to snuff again. I think they should put on the dog and have a grand re-opening.

I'm glad Mitch will be at the new Chateau (Will it still be Chateau?) but sad he won't be with the RCVB, where he did a great job.

Used to dread going to CineChateau after Mitch left because you could tell the people that worked there did so without enthusiasm.

Will look forward to seeing happy employees at the new theater!

As someone who was one of the assistant managers under Mitch's tenure with Chateau the first time, I have no doubt that Mitch will get that theatre turned back around and make it a place to go to once again. The only thing that will affect that is if Paragon charges too much for tickets--if you think ticket prices are high now, the whole Rochester market could get a lot higher.

I find it funny who ticket prices stayed low while Mitch was in charge of the Chateau, though (Chafolius wanted to charge a lot more for ticket prices and Mitch said that wasn't an option), and when Mitch left, ticket prices in Rochester skyrocketed. Coincidence?

Soooooooo glad to hear this!!! I never met Mitch, but he was the "face" of Chateau during his tenure, and it was always great to see him running to the show! GREAT news!

WOOO Mitch is back! Free concessions and movies for everyone in Rochester! I love this guy!

Not sure what everyone is talking about regarding prices, CineMagic Hollywood is only charging $4 and $6 with free childrens movies on Saturday mornings. I have never seen prices lower in town.

I don't like spending money at a business that takes it all out of town. If I wanted my money to go to New York or Miami I would go watch movies on the East coast.

Derek - Uh... There are no locally owned movie theaters in town. I don't understand your comment.
I assume you don't go to any theaters to watch movies.
Neither Cinemagic nor Wherenberg are local.

Rachel - You are right.
The CineMagic owners were clear when talking about prices. They are offering lowest prices for first run movies. To do that, they said they are cutting staff time and services.
It comes down to what people want from the experience of going to the movies.

Hhmmmm... Seems like a lot of similar comments from different people are all coming from the same IP address.
Wonder if there is a connection?

Hmmmm. Is there a connection to you taking out the comments you don't like …?

Had a chance to go to the Saturday morning kids show at the Hollywood 12 on Saturday...What a blast! Chester was even out! Great to see him...CineMagic has great prices on tickets, and on concessions...I am very happy we have a family friendly theatre that actually is affordable with first runs movies for families! Thank you CineMagic! You have made me and my family very happy!

Haven't been to Cinemagic in years, but apparently, my wife's co-worker just told her that they turned it into a "Cheap Seats" theater... she said older movies at low, low prices...:)

Is that the impression they want to give?

Not sure what you mean Jennebach...

Movies at CineMagic this past weekend include

Just Go With It, Justin Bieber(3D), Gnomeo & Juliet and The Eagle - All brand new films last weekend.

In my view, these are brand new films at 1/3 to half the price that the competition charges across town. I love the savings! Keep up the good work CineMagic!

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