The Chateau Theatre originally opened as a Vaudeville house in Rochester, Minnesota that opened in 1927 with an interior decorated as a medieval village. The theater was converted to a movie house eventually remodeled and reopened as a Barnes & Noble bookstore. The Chateau was originally opened on October 26, 1927. The architects, Ellerbe, said," We have given this town the finest theater of its size, bar none, in the U.S."
In April, 1927, Dr. Charles Mayo laid the building's cornerstone. The structure was originally called the Chateau Dodge Theatre because the Dodge Lumber Company had previously occupied this site. With construction costs of a then-unheard-of $400,000, the theatre opened on October 26, 1927, showing the movie "Spring Fever."
The Chateau Theatre was one of Rochester's first air-conditioned buildings, presenting plays, concerts, operas, silent and later talking movies, and vaudeville: In 1940, 25 cents' admission provided audiences 3 acts of music/magic/juggling, "Pathé news," comedy, and a main show. Chateau headliners over the years included actresses Ethel Barrymore and Tallulah Bankhead, the husband-wife acting team of Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, cinema cowboy Tom Mix; Mary, the rhinoceros co-starring in Johnny ismuller's "Tarzan"; and bandleader Paul Whiteman ("The King of Jazz"). From the 1940 premiere of "Gone with the Wind" through the 1980s "Star Wars" episodes, the Chateau provided Rochester the very best in cinema.