BY VEATRICE FARRELL, Contributor
ST. PETERSBURG — When is a movie more than a movie? When the purpose of the movie is to provide a fun family time in the neighborhood! The Royal Theater, situated on 22nd Street South, was one of two theaters that African Americans were able to attend during segregation.
Opened in 1948 with a marching corps parade, movies haven’t been consistently shown at the venue since 1966. The Deuces Live, Inc., the business association located on the historic 22nd Street South corridor, received a mini-grant from the City of St. Petersburg and a Newell Rubbermaid Literacy Grant for its project called “A Book and a Movie.”
Loan proceeds were utilized to purchase a motion picture licensing agreement that allows the Deuces Live and its partners to legally show movies in the theater.
Special thanks to Kayren Lovett, area director of the Boys and Girls Club, for the use of the theater and to our initial partners, Keep St. Pete Lit and the Federation of Families of Florida, Inc.
The stated goal of this project is to continue to provide activities on 22nd Street South that encourage folks to visit the street to enjoy a leisure activity then patronize the local businesses and visit the spaces on the corridor that celebrate the community’s’ rich cultural heritage.
Doors open the second and fourth Saturday at 2 p.m., the movie starts at 2:22. Of course there’s a catch! The type of movie license was the least expensive and therefore doesn’t allow us to publicly state the movie that’s showing.
You can, however, find out what the movie is by joining our email list. We’re allowed to share the movie that’s screened on our email list and on posters in participating businesses on the corridor. We’re not able to say what the movies are directly, but some of them were books!
Some of the movies scheduled to be screened are based upon the following books: “Akeelah and the Bee,” “Devil in a Blue Dress,” “Great Debaters of Wiley College,” “Remember the Titans,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “A Soldier’s Story,” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
Businesses and organizations are also hosting movies at the Royal:
August 27 — All Kidney Patient Support Group is hosting a movie based on the book “Unconditional”
September 10 — Esquire Barbershop is hosting a movie that’s the second name of his business
September 24 — Tampa Bay Black Business will be hosting a movie based upon the book, “Pursuit of Happyness”
October 8 – A movie based upon the book the “Great Debaters of Wiley College,” or it may be another college themed movie
October 22 — The Pinellas County Urban League is having a mental health festival at SPC Jamerson and will be hosting a movie based upon the play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf”
October 29 — The Boys and Girls Club will be screening Halloween movies one of which is based on the book series “Goosebumps”
November 12 — Annie’s Beauty Supply is hosting a movie with the same name as the paperback novel by Benilde Little entitled “Good Hair”
December 10 — There is a holiday movie series that sponsored by GTE
Remember every second and fourth Saturday through November 12, and one Saturday in December for a holiday series. Doors open 2 p.m. and the movie starts at 2:22!
Organization or nonprofits interested in hosting a movie, please call us at 727-4DEUCES!