A group hoping to save one of New Bedford's only remaining theaters welcomed a champion of historic preservation to the city Thursday.


Former Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci spoke to supporters of the Orpheum Rising Project, which looks to restore the 101-year-old Orpheum Theater to its former glory. Cianci had a role in saving several historic theaters and other buildings during his two mayoral stints.

The current radio and TV personality thinks New Bedford has the pieces in place to revitalize hidden jewels like the Orpheum.

The Orpheum Rising Project is currently trying to get the theater on the National Register of Historic Places, to make it eligible for federal restoration grants and tax credits. When asked about his political future, Cianci told WBSM News, he's keeping his options open.

Cianci would be eligible to run for Mayor in Providence again next year, over a decade after he left that office following a federal racketeering conviction.