Lights, camera, action! 

The Simons Theatre is again showing entertaining and educational films after recent renovations not only enhanced the theater, but decreased the Aquarium’s carbon footprint.

The recent upgrades include a state-of-the-art projection system that utilizes lasers to create vibrant, high-quality images. The previous system needed extensive cooling, which required the constant use of air compressors and water pumps. By eliminating the need for these components, this advanced laser projector system reduces electricity usage by almost 40%. The energy-efficient digital 3D projector allows for a wider selection of films to be shown, giving audiences multiple opportunities to transport themselves to locations across the globe. By going digital, this also eliminates the use of film, which reduces waste and the resources needed to produce and ship the product.

stage under construction for Simons Theatre renovation project

During construction 

renovated Simons Theatre


The impressive 80-foot-wide and 43-foot-high screen is the size of three horizontally placed blue whales – the largest animal on Earth! The projection screen is one of the largest in New England and sits above a newly expanded 1,800-square-foot stage and 378 high-backed, plush seats. This stage area can accommodate various events, including presentations, educational lectures, corporate gatherings, receptions, and even yoga classes. 

As part of our increased sustainability efforts, additional environmentally friendly enhancements were added. As you walk in the lobby, pay close attention to the carpet. This beautifully ornate carpet was created out of discarded fishing nets! The carpet was designed by Net Effect, a company that honors the ocean in both an aesthetic and tangible way by using recycled fish nets to mimic the color and movement of the sea. To conserve additional energy, the theater was equipped with new, energy-efficient speakers, and a new cleaning system for the 3D glasses that uses less water and less electricity.

The Aquarium’s primary mission is to protect the blue planet, and these eco-friendly advancements help support this goal while also providing an immersive and thrilling experience for our guests!

New England Aquarium members

Aquarium members are invited to join us for an exclusive look at the improvements at a Members Movie Night in the Simons Theatre on Saturday, March 7.

Additionally, to ensure you are still able to make the most of your member benefits, any unredeemed Simons Theatre passes for for members with active memberships (Standard 4 and above) during the renovations will receive expiration date extensions.

Here’s how:

Memberships with expiration dates between January 31, 2020, and February 28, 2021, will be able to use any unredeemed passes for an additional six weeks after their current membership expires. Passes can be picked up at Member Services in the Aquarium Lobby starting on the first day of the extension period through the last.

For example, members with a March 31, 2020, expiration date will be able to access unredeemed passes from April 1 through May 15, 2020.

Any passes included in new or renewed memberships that start on March 1, 2020, will not be affected. Please contact if you have any questions.