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Zeitgeist Moving Expenses

$3,550 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 2 months
Incredible news!

Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center celebrated it’s 32nd Anniversary last November.  32 years of bringing a world class array of alternative films, filmmakers, creative music, theater, performance, spoken word, visual art, dance, burlesque and community events to the New Orleans area.  

For the past 19 of those years we have brought our incredible programming to Oretha Castle Haley Blvd and we feel that we have been an intricate part of the streets rebirth and revival.  

Now it is with great pleasure and excitement that after all of these years Zeitgeist will be moving to a venue as world class as our programming.  Gone will be our days of what the NY Times called “shabby chic”.  

After months of rumors and speculations it is now official…

Zeitgeist will be moving to the old VALIANT THEATRE AND LOUNGE at 6621 St. Claude Avenue (between Studio Inferno and the St. Claude Arts Studio in the Old Arabi Cultural Arts District).

The new venue features ample parking, a 125 seat black box theater, a small kitchen area for pop-ups, two 3 stall ADA restrooms and a magnificent cocktail lounge that was elegantly designed and renovated by Mitchell and Erica Gaudet and developed by the Meraux Foundation.  

The new venue has an illustrious history as the Joy Lounge (one of the first black music clubs in Louisiana) which later became Buster’s Bar and Lounge, then inexplicably for decades it was a pawnshop and a Carnival Mart.  

"Zeitgeist will be located on a two-block “arts campus” assembled by the Meraux Foundation as a public interest project to accelerate the growth of the Old Arabi Cultural District and improve the economy and quality of life of St. Bernard Parish. The stretch also includes Studio Inferno and St. Claude Arts, a collection of studios and galleries."

We will continue programming at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd through the middle of February while we pursue all of the required permits, inspections and licenses.  We will then move during the weeks leading to Mardi Gras. We hope to open on Friday, March 8th.

As soon as we have received our occupational license we will schedule a small Open House with food and drinks from some of our new neighbors and possibly some live music.  The evening along with this GoFundMe Page are designed to give everyone a preview of the amazing new space and a fundraiser to help with costs associated with the move (ie, a new sign, some minor electrical work, 4 metal and glass poster cases for the front of the building, keg refrigerators, two small ice bins, the massive cost of a liquor license and the other fees, etc.)  So bring your credit cards or checkbooks.

We are  creating this GoFundMe campaign to help with the immediate costs of moving as well as looking to line up volunteers to help pack and move once we have officially leased a new venue.

Our new neighbors include Studio Inferno, St. Claude Arts Studio, Rally’s, Waffle House, Canseco Market, Whiskey Bayou Bar, Gerald’s Donuts and Burgers (24 hours), AutoZone, Kitchen Table Cafe, Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant, Old Arabi Antiques, Arabi Food Store, Old Arabi Bar, Stella Maris Restaurant & Hookah Lounge,  etc.

Oh, and even though St. Bernard Parish allows smoking in bars, Zeitgeist (including the lounge) will remain Smoke Free.

We will also be expanding our programming in the main theatre to include daily matinees, film series, classic repertory titles, along with much more live theatre and performances events.  And in the longe we will present “1001 ARABI NIGHTS” nightly music, spoken word, comedy and other events nightly events.

Thank you for your support.  This is going to be absolutely great!
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This is going to be amazing! But we still need your help. Donations have stalled, but our progress continues. Please donate today. Thanks.
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Major progress on permits and on the space is being made daily. We just received not one, but two stand up pianos that Amine spent two days tuning. Dale the “Ice King” cleaned and repaired our ice machine. Yesterday they installed our sign. They still have to come back and hang the Theatre & Lounge Sign and a Sign on the side of the building about parking. We received our Occupancy License, Resale Certificate and our Parish and State Sales Tax Clearances but still need to schedule our final inspection with the Department of Health. First we are awaiting for Coca-Cola to set up our Bar guns, soft drink fountain with ice bin and Gold Peak brewing station. We still need to buy a large 2 door beer cooler and under the bar ice bin. We also will need to rent a truck to move everything over to Arabi as well as buy a 15 ft ladder for the theatre. Once again we ask for your help and support. If you can make a donation please do so here or get a membership on our website or at our box office. Thanks again.
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They are hanging the new sign this week!
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People keep asking or speculating about why we are moving. Here is why.

I have been on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd for the past 19 years and was not really looking to move. I have been very happy there.

People kept telling me I should look at the theatre space on St. Claude and Desire that had been scheduled to be Indywood. It was a great space, but no parking. Still I was interested until I saw the Valiant Theatre and Lounge.

I go to Gerald’s Donuts often after Zeitgeist closes to eat with my friend Ellis Fortinberry who runs Chalmette Movies. He mentioned that he had seen a for lease sign on a theatre a couple of blocks away on St. Claude so I called the number. Looking at it I knew right away Zeitgeist could never afford a venue this incredible, but the property manager told me that when she told the owners that Zeitgeist was interested in seeing the space, luckily our reputation proceeded us. The owners are the Meraux Charitable Foundation, Artify LLC, whose main concern was luckily for me not just about money, but what tenant would best advance their development and promotion of the Old Arabi Cultural Arts District. When I saw a drawing for St. Bernard Parish and the Meraux Foundation's plans for the district I knew Zeitgeist had to move.

Making the decision to move outside of Orleans Parish (by one block) was a hard one. I don’t know if my audience will follow me or be willing to travel across town and across the industrial canal. Luckily the response has been overwhelmingly positive and people seem extremely excited about the new location and the off street parking. I think this will be the best thing to ever happen to Zeitgeist. The new venue gives us a chance to expand our programming and the Lounge gives us a great opportunity to increase our audiences and our revenues.

Thanks again to everyone for their generous support. For updates about the move and our programming you should go to our website and sign up for our weekly e-mail blast.
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$3,550 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 2 months
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