Located in Downtown New Bedford, Massachusetts, the Zeiterion Theatre is the last “old-time” theatre in a city that once boasted 17. Ground was broken on March 14, 1922 and on April 2, 1923, New Bedford opened its last new theatre in the city’s downtown area- The Zeiterion. Built for the “live performance of vaudeville”, it opened with Troubles of 1922 starring and written by George Jessel. The theatre did not meet with immediate success and by September 1923 it had closed briefly and reopened that month as the State, a silent movie house.
Five world premieres were held at the State. One notable premiere was the 1956 opening of “Moby Dick” complete with Gregory Peck in attendance.
Last night the Zeiterion Performing Arts center had a twin bill of The Record Company a Los Angeles based rock and blues band, and Trombone Shorty, a New Orleans, funk, jazz band.
“We know none of you know who we are, but thanks so much for the reception”.
That was the comment by the lead singer after the band realized they were a hit with the crowd. The Record Company had a limited amount of time as the opening act and they made the best of it.
The main even opened like an atomic bomb. It stayed that way for the next 90 minutes. Trombone Shorty is a high energy, New Orleans based, funk, jazz, crazy like no other, band. During the first couple of songs, someone would stand and dance or clap, and soon sit back down. Shorty noticed this happening and yelled into the crowd. “If you feel it, stand up and FEEL it”. After that, there were a handful of people in their seats and the energy running at 200%, picked up considerably. It was an intense night of rock and roll, funk and jazz which ended with an encore of Trombone Shorty and his band walking the aisles of the theater jamming like a New Orleans funeral procession.
TROMBONE SHORTY AT THE Z from John Sullivan on Vimeo.
2 thoughts on “Painting the Town Red”
Sounds like a great time. I’d love to catch Trombone Shorty live. I heard a NPR interview with him. He had his first band at age six. Age six!!
We have an old theater in Pitman, New Jersey, the town next door to me, built in 1926 and opening as a movie and vaudeville theater. Gives me an idea for a blog post, linking to several other blog posts like yours that showcase old theaters. Great post.