Mid-Century Modern Library and Movie Theater

Our library could probably stand a little love and a new paint job, but at its core it is a pretty outstanding mid-century building. And I finally got around to taking a few photos during our weekly visit.

It's the Yarborourgh library in Austin now, but that wasn't the case till 1999.

Originally the building was the Americana Theatre (hence the double sign), a movie theater that was built in 1965 and sat 1,000 people.

Story goes that the theater, which had been sold to AMC Theaters by this point, had a contract with Disney for the exclusive rights to premier Annie, but only if they continued to show it for 18 weeks. The extended showing essentially bankrupt the theater and that's how it became a library.

If you pay close attention to Dazed and Confused you might reconize the Yarborough library. It was the parking lot where the cheerleaders hazed the freshman girls.

The columns are reminiscent of hair pin legs, with some atomic-style connectors and caps.

The overhangs have been redone, but they kept the orignial wave motif.

You can check out the original overhangs here.

The pendant lights under the overhang have an extremely mid-century modern / atomic age feel to them.

I'm really glad this building has been repurposed and will probably be around for a while, and that I get to visit it every week.


  1. It's really cool that the city hasn't gone in and slapped a generic facade on the building!

    1. Yeah, Austin just passed a bond to make improvements to this library (and others). I hope improvements mean paint and some restoration, not "let's try to make the building look modern" money.