St. Petersburg’s State Theatre unveils new name: Floridian Social Club
By Jay Cridlin
In one sense, the State Theatre has been the State Theatre for decades. Opened as a bank in the 1920s, it became a movie theater in the 1940s, then a popular concert venue.
In a different sense, it hasn’t been the State Theatre for two years, ever since a fire marshal’s crackdown led to the venue’s closing, sale and long-running refurbishment.
Now it’s not the State Theatre at all.
The venue on St. Petersburg’s 600 block of Central Avenue announced Monday it will soon go by a new name: the Floridian Social Club.
“I think it needed a fresh start,” said owner Kevin Chadwick. “I’m a firm believer that if you’re not growing and changing, you’re dying. That’s really where the theater was. It really hadn’t grown or changed, and it was dying, and I am, with all my might, breathing life into it.”
Chadwick, who grew up in St. Petersburg, settled on the new name — “the Floridian” for short — because natives and transplants alike view being Floridian as a “badge of honor.”
“It’s a tribute to everyone who lives here, and it gives honor to what we’re doing,” he said. “I could see the name ‘Floridian Social Club’ on it 100 years from now. My focus is not to do something superficial. It’s to do it at a level where, that thing better be here in 100 years.”