For nearly a century, this Beaux-Arts-style building has stood on Central Avenue in St. Pete. It has lived many lives in that time, serving as a bank, an office, a movie theater, and a beloved concert venue. After several years of renovations, the music hall recently reopened with a new identity: the Floridian Social Club.
The building was originally constructed in 1924 as Alexander National Bank. At the time, the 8,600-square-foot building was one of the largest banks in St. Petersburg, and the only one with the ability to print currency. But this first iteration was short-lived—after the stock market crash of 1929, the bank was forced to close.
For a time, the building sat largely vacant, occasionally being used as office space. But in 1950 it reopened with a new name—the State Theatre—and a new mission—entertainment. The first film to grace the screens at the movie theater was The Outriders, a Western starring Joel McCrea.
A little more than 30 years after its debut, the movie theater went out of business and the building was reimagined once again, this time as a live music venue. It became known for hosting big-name performers as well as local bands from funk to heavy metal and everything in between. Sadly, the historic building began to show its age. After running into a number of issues and having its capacity limited by fire code violations, the State Theatre closed its doors in 2018.
Soon after, St. Pete native Kevin Chadwick bought the building and began renovating. Over several years of work, the theater was totally gutted and rebuilt in an Art Deco style that honors its history. During renovations, the original hand-crafted concrete tiles from 1924 were discovered underneath the flooring. When it reopened in 2021, the concert hall also debuted its new name, the Floridian Social Club.
With live music most nights of the week and a Roaring 20s-inspired cocktail list, the Floridian hopes to honor the past and future of this local landmark.
This post is sponsored by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. Click here to explore more of the area's unique arts and culture.