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Jenna Bowman: Chateau reuse can be a catalyst for more activity downtown

Jenna Bowman: Chateau reuse can be a catalyst for more activity downtown

The Chateau Theatre is an iconic place known for the magic of the interior and beauty of the exterior. It has held an important place in the history of our community. We, collectively, find ourselves asking, what is next for the Chateau Theatre? As a member of the Chateau Reuse Task Force, this question has been top of mind for over a year and a half. What was identified by the group as being the most encompassing use is that of a multi-use performance arts venue. The option was selected for several reasons, one of the most compelling being, the opportunity for the space to be active the most hours and days out of the year.

As the Executive Director for the Rochester Downtown Alliance, activation and the opportunity for engagement is vital to a vibrant downtown. A vibrant downtown is critical to the successful of any community. The downtown, as we know it today, has advanced leaps and bounds; it is active most any day out of the week. As an organization, we know there is still work to be done; the community’s appetite has not yet been satisfied. The Chateau Theatre is a wonderful example of a space that could play a key role in providing diverse options for entertainment and community gatherings. How can it truly be a space that is constantly bubbling with activity?

As the Rochester City Council and Destination Medical Center Corporation take the next steps in determining the future use of the Chateau, I encourage each member of those bodies to take on that task with an open mind, critical eye, and with a commitment to increasing vibrancy and access. How can this iconic and historic place truly be a catalytic project, one that we are able to look to and say, “yes, that was the right decision.”

Jenna Bowman is executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance and a member of the Chateau Reuse Task Force.

The Next Step: What's the best use for the Chateau Theatre?

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