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State Theater closing again

Metro State Theater, which reopened earlier this year, is closing its doors again. The downtown St. Petersburg nightspot will close this weekend, said club owner Brad Kennedy. The status of the club nights tonight and Saturday is unclear. "There just isn't any money," said Kennedy, who is leasing the building from St. Petersburg lawyer George Rahdert. The theater, originally a bank, closed in 1977 after 27 years. It reopened as a musical venue on March 15, 1991, and closed in June 1993. Kennedy took over the Central Avenue club in February and booked acts like Dr. Hook, comedian Jimmie Walker and rocker Wayne Kramer (formerly of the MC5). "There was not enough business to sustain the club," Kennedy said. "Downtown St. Pete is dead." Despite the closing, the theater will reopen as a music venue in the future, said Radhert, possibly as early as mid-July.

In other news . . .

The condition of jazz great Lionel Hampton, who suffered another stroke Tuesday, has improved and he might be discharged today, his publicist said.

Denzel Washington reached deep into his pocket and donated $1-million to Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund, says USA Today. The actor, who played Stephen Biko in Cry Freedom, can afford it: He will get $10-million to star in Courage Under Fire, about friendly fire in the Persian Gulf War.

Try to keep your popcorn dry at the Cartoon Network's Dive-In Theater at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Southwest Recreation Complex, 13120 Vonn Road in Largo. The world's only cable TV channel devoted to animation will preview some of its 48 original cartoon shorts debuting later this year. The pool complex will be decorated with large 'toon props, roaming cartoon characters and a 9-by-12-foot screen for the show. Dive-In Theaters are being sponsored in nine other cities this summer. Tickets are being distributed through contest giveaways by WFLZ-FM 93.3. Call 839-9393 and ask the promotions department for information.

Trisha Yearwood, one of country music's biggest stars, is scheduled to appear at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Sunday, Aug. 6. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show, with opening act Andy Childs, are S24.50. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office. To charge by phone, call 287-8844.

Correction

In today's horoscope on page 3D of Parental Guidance, Taurus is listed twice. The first Taurus listed is actually Sagittarius.

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