L-Acoustics hangs out at The Floridian
Thursday, 7 January 2021
lafsc1St. Petersburg’s renovated Floridian Social Club is now home to an L-Acoustics Kara system
USA - The Floridian in St. Petersburg, Florida, began life in the 1920s as a bank, then was transformed into a cinema, and later a concert hall known as the State Theatre before being shuttered in 2018. Designed in the neo-classical architecture style - arched doorways, Greek columns, ornate carvings - the venue has stood the test of time.
Now, purchased by St. Pete native and entrepreneur Kevin Chadwick, who oversaw an estimated $1m-plus renovation that he described as ‘a passion project’ it has become the Floridian Social Club, a lounge, concert venue, and event space in the heart of the city’s downtown Central Avenue entertainment district.
At the heart of the Floridian is an L-Acoustics Kara PA system, installed by local integrator ESI Production Services. The new loudspeaker setup comprises two hangs of nine Kara boxes per side and a single flown ARCS Focus centre-fill speaker, collectively powered by three LA8 amplified controllers, and three LA12X-driven KS28 subs installed under the stage of the venue’s 800-seat main theatre. Two more LA12X are used to power eight X12 wedge monitors, with one SB18 sub integrated into the system and dedicated to drum kits.
All that stands between the venue’s history as the State Theatreand its new incarnation as the Floridian Social Club is the abatement of the COVID pandemic. “When the time comes, the Kara will be ready and waiting,” says ESI Production Services president Erick "Otto" Celeiro.
Celeiro also specified the system, installed by colleague Conrad “Deke” Andrews and calibrated by L-Acoustics application engineer Vic Wagner. “Kara is the perfect solution for this project,” Celeiro notes, citing the enclosure’s light weight and compact form factor. “It sounds fantastic, and it will be able to handle any type of music they can bring in. But, equally important for a landmark building like this, aesthetic concerns were critical. An enormous amount of money was invested to make the venue look great. The PA had to be able to deliver a real punch without being visibly obvious. Kara does just that - delivering unexpected punch for its size.”
Chadwick, who says he feels fortunate that the Floridian’s renovation period coincided with the pandemic’s shutdown, agrees that sound quality was the overriding consideration in choosing the L-Acoustics system. “The concerts and events that will take place here will range from A to Z - from country to rap - so the sound system has to be able to handle any kind of genre,” he says.
“Everyone is looking forward to when we can all hear live music again. And we feel that we’ve created an environment for performers and audiences here that no other venue of our size, in this market, can offer. And Kara has a lot to do with that.”

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