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South Austin Museum of Popular Culture moving north with new name

Peter Blackstock
The South Austin Museum of Popular Culture is moving to a new location adjacent to Threadgill's on North Lamar Boulevard and is changing its name to the Austin Museum of Popular Culture. [Ricardo B. Brazziell/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

The South Austin Museum of Popular Culture on South Lamar Boulevard is moving to a new space behind Threadgill's restaurant on North Lamar and will change its name to the Austin Museum of Popular Culture, executive director Leea Mechling confirmed Thursday.

Mechling and Threadgill's owner Eddie Wilson worked together in the 1970s at Armadillo World Headquarters. When Threadgill's closed its South Austin location late last year, Wilson donated much of that location's art and memorabilia to the museum.

Opened in 2004 in a donated space at 1516 S. Lamar Blvd., the museum, which had been commonly known as SouthPop, "collects, conserves, and exhibits vintage posters and live music ephemera from the 1960s through today to educate public about Austin's unique culture," according to its Facebook page.

When the owners of the South Austin location decided not to continue donating its space to the museum, Wilson and his wife, Sandra, stepped up to offer a space in the building behind the original Threadgill's location, which Kenneth Threadgill opened as a gas station at 6416 N. Lamar Blvd in 1933.

RELATED: A conversation with Threadgill's owner Eddie Wilson

The new space "is bigger and nicer and will give us the opportunity to have more of our permanent collection available to the public," Mechling said, noting that parking is also more easily available there.

Mechling and her associates already have begun moving items in their collection to the new location, but it won't formally open in the new space until next month. An Oct. 27 opening of an exhibit featuring works by renowned Armadillo artist Jim Franklin will include music by Shandon Sahm, who's releasing an album this fall with songs written by his father, Texas music legend Doug Sahm. 

Mechlin said the new location is about 50 percent larger than the previous spot. "The main space where we're showing stuff is probably twice as big," she added.

READ MORE: SouthPop honors Live Music Capital's musicians