Beyond 100: 
The Z Reimagined

You inspired us to dream big!

In 2018 we began with a single idea — to improve your patron experience at The Z. Five years later, our desire for new seating and better bathrooms has grown into an ambitious historic restoration and renovation project that will usher the 100-year-old building into the next century. Our vision will transform The Z into a stunning state-of-the-art facility and a community living room bustling with activity and welcoming to all.

Soon we’ll embark on a 14-to-18-month transformation. During that time, historic elements will be fully restored and unused spaces will be given new life. 

When The Z re-opens, you'll experience new seats, a new sound system, and improved bathrooms. You’ll also find an expanded lobby, a glorious marquee and more space for community connection and creative expression.

100 years after the Zeiterion first opened its doors, and 40 years since its last major renovation, we are well on our way to making this vision a reality - but we’re not there yet.

Even though we are off to a great start, we will need your help before our next act begins. Stay tuned for ways you can help support this transformational project.

THE ZEITERION: a new vision for a new century

A Tour of The Zeiterion Theater with Molly McCarthy


The Exterior

A new, historically appropriate marquee will be returned to the façade for the first time since the mid-century. The box office moves to the front of the building, improving the buying experience and creating a dynamic street presence.

The Theater

The theater will be restored top-to-bottom with modern comforts, including new seats and restrooms, accessibility upgrades, and improved sound and lighting, while maintaining the historic theater’s charm.

Upper Lobby

A complete transformation of the lobby will allow for increased flow in and out of the theater, as well as expanded restrooms and additional gathering space for patrons during performances and beyond.

Second Floor Lounge

A new location for a supporter lounge, gathering space, and multi-function event room. It will feature an additional concession area and will connect to the main lobby for easy access to the theater.

Movement Studio

Increasing our capacity for learning opportunities, this dedicated rehearsal and classroom space has acoustic isolation considerations so instruction will not be affected by performances inside the theater.

Speakeasy Lounge

An exciting addition to the Zeiterion, the Speakeasy Lounge offers another performance space for smaller, more intimate shows – as well as community gatherings, rental opportunities, and more.

Secretary of State William Galvin said, "The commonwealth’s investment in the historic Zeiterion Theater will ensure that people will be able to admire and enjoy this historic venue for years to come."

The Zeiterion in the news

Zeiterion project a boon to arts, entertainment and the economy - Standard TimesA peek inside - New Bedford LightThe Zeiterion is closing for renovations soon - Standard TimesHistoric Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford to undergo renovations - WPRI
"It’s going to be a state-of-the-art, world-class performing arts center with all the amenities and all the conveniences that people should be able to enjoy...” David Prentiss, NEW BEDFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, president and CEO.

The Zeiterion is our region’s premiere performing artscenter, one of the most important cultural institutions in New Bedford, and a major economic driver for our downtown.

– Mayor Jon Mitchell