New Life for the Chateau Theatre

A big win today for fans of the theater — the Chateau Theatre in downtown Rochester, that is.

The City of Rochester just announced a possible purchase of the iconic landmark, located in Peace Plaza just one block from Mayo Clinic. The city will discuss executing a purchase agreement for the 88-year-old theatre at its April 6 City Council meeting.

Built in 1927, the Chateau was one of the most elaborate theatres built in Rochester in the early 1900s. The exterior sunburst design marquee is lit with 636 light bulbs. Its unique French Village decor includes interior balconies and turrets and, on the ceiling, stars in the night sky.

“This a tremendous opportunity for us to preserve this iconic element of Rochester’s history and invest in our future,” said Mayor Ardell Brede, “Thanks to the generosity of Mayo Clinic, we are now able to meet the purchase price of six-million dollars.”

The City will fund the purchase of the building through $5.5 million of internal borrowing, along with a $500,000 gift from Mayo Clinic.

“Our gift demonstrates Mayo’s commitment to this community while fulfilling the vision for one of Destination Medical Center’s first areas of focus, its ‘Heart of the City’ district,” said John Noseworthy, M.D. President & CEO, Mayo Clinic. “This is the right thing to do as a community partner and demonstrates Mayo’s commitment to preservation of our community’s historic assets and the Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative.”