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Floridian Social Club in St. Petersburg is looking for someone to buy it

Formerly known as the State Theatre, the downtown St. Petersburg club says it’s time for a professional arena operator to take over.
 
The Floridian Social Club,  formerly known as the State Theatre in downtown St. Petersburg, is up for sale. The owner hopes to find a professional arena manager to take over the concert venue.
The Floridian Social Club, formerly known as the State Theatre in downtown St. Petersburg, is up for sale. The owner hopes to find a professional arena manager to take over the concert venue. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times (2021) ]
Published Dec. 12, 2023|Updated Dec. 12, 2023

The Floridian Social Club in downtown St. Petersburg, which will turn 100 next year, is now on the market after a sentimental purchase and renovation gave the old building a new life as a cosmopolitan social club.

The historic spot at 687 Central Ave. was previously known as the State Theatre and in the last century it has mirrored the downtown that grew around it. It was built in 1924 with its classical Greek and Roman decorative elements as the Alexander National Bank. It was one of the largest of nine banks in the area and the only one to print currency, according to historical records.

In May 1950, the State Theatre opened in the new “Technicolor” era with a smoking lounge and air conditioning. In more recent years, it has been a concert hall and bar, bringing the likes of Bon Jovi and Twenty One Pilots.

Kevin Chadwick, owner of the Floridian Social Club in St. Petersburg, the former State Theatre, bankrolled its costly renovation in part because the theater was the site of his parents’ first date.
Kevin Chadwick, owner of the Floridian Social Club in St. Petersburg, the former State Theatre, bankrolled its costly renovation in part because the theater was the site of his parents’ first date. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times (2021)  ]

In 2018, St. Petersburg philanthropist and real estate agent Kevin Chadwick paid $2.1 million for the 8,600-square-foot building through his family trust and bankrolled its costly renovation, in part because the theater was the site of his parents’ first date.

After gutting the place and spending millions to restore it, it became a cocktail lounge, concert hall and special events venue called the Floridian Social Club. The interior recalls the Roaring 1920s style of luxurious materials in gold, brass, chrome, marble and ivory.

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Chadwick said he’s not a concert promoter, so he is turning over his labor of love. Now that he has assured the theater is preserved, it is time for a professional in arena operations to take it to the next level, and that’s what he is looking for in a buyer, he said.

The place is not closing; it currently has shows booked through next summer.

“It’s been fun to immerse myself in this,” Chadwick said, “but you get to the point that you say, what would it look like if we could attract a true celebrity that is an operator that has done this for a living and has a huge amount of experience?”

Tiles replicate the style of the floors from a 1920s bank that was in the building before the Floridian Social Club, and former State Theatre in the 1940s, in St. Petersburg.
Tiles replicate the style of the floors from a 1920s bank that was in the building before the Floridian Social Club, and former State Theatre in the 1940s, in St. Petersburg. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times (2021)  ]

Chadwick said the venue has been having its best year since it opened in early 2021, becoming a popular space to rent for weddings or for corporate parties. It has also booked local and touring artists and a burlesque show held every couple of months that sells out each time, he said.

“When I purchased it five years ago, the intent was to make sure the theater would continue for another 100 years,” Chadwick said. “I think the person exists out there and I think it would be a lot of fun to have them.”