​Leadership St. Pete has chosen the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club as the 2017 Class Project. The project generally takes the form of a physical facility improvement for the beneficiary organization. Class members provide planning, fundraising and physical labor to execute the project.

Originally a movie theater for the African-American community from 1948-1966, the Royal Theater today provides a homebase for one of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast in the heart of South St. Pete on 22nd Street South. BGC has been serving Pinellas County for over 50 years, helping local youth (5-18) learn life skills for a successful future. Of the Royal Theater club members, 94 percent live at or below the poverty line, but through the club’s support, many are able to break out of the cycle of poverty. The LSP class selected the Royal Theater Club for their project because of the services it provides to neighborhood children and the capital improvements it requires to sustain its mission serving the South St. Pete community. It’s a safe place for children who may not have one in which to grow up with positive role models and high impact programming during non-school hours.

“We are honored and excited to be selected by the 2017 Leadership St. Pete® Class as the project recipient for our Royal Theater Club. It is inspiring to have our community’s leaders and representatives come together for the best interest of our youth and local neighborhoods. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is fortunate to be a part of such a great partnership.”
​​-Freddy Williams, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast

​The theater is in need of many interior and exterior upgrades to reflect the safe, positive environment Boys and Girls Club cultivates for the youth it serves. As an historic arts facility, this Boys & Girls Club focuses programming around the arts, giving these children opportunities they may not otherwise receive. Planned improvements include exterior cleanup including paint, landscaping and signage restoration, and interior space upgrades including paint, storage and furniture. The projected costs of improvements is $55,000, which the LSP class will raise by the end of April in order to complete the project by May 20, 2017