The Last of the Last

USquareearthquakebloguse Union Square after the 1906 Earthquake: This link here is to SFGATE’s story today about the last earthquake survivor. There’s also a neat slide show of old earthquake photos.                                                                                                       

The Richmond District

Alexandriabloguse The old Alexandria Theater at Geary and 19th in 1943: The ‘Government Girl’, I saw that just recently on Turner Classic Movies! It was terrible! (Actually, I liked it.)

washingtonexpuse My doctor, the eminent Dr. Donald Knotts, tells me he was among the students walking along the street at George Washington High School when this scene where Lee Remick drops her sister Stefanie Powers off in the 1962 film ‘Experiment in Terror’ (One of my favorite SF movies) was shot. Maybe he knew the girls standing by the car. I’ll have to ask him. Other prominent people who went to this high school, include Johnny Mathis and Danny Glover. The link below that I posted several years ago shows a brief synopsis of the movie along with the soundtrack from the opening credits.

patty1use In April of 1974, the Symbionese Army, who two months earlier had kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, robbed the Hibernia Bank at 22nd and Noriega in San Francisco. Bank surveillance film showed Hearst participating in the robbery. All of the Symbionese Liberation Army members involved in the robbery died the following month in a fiery police shootout in Los Angeles except Patty Hearst who was captured in September of 1975. The producers of the 1988 film ‘Patty Hearst’ used the corner of 38th and Balboa in the Richmond District to reenact the incident. The Hibernia Bank, named Hibernia Savings in the movie is the Bank of America branch at this corner. The bank robbers pull up to the location in a station wagon and enter the bank from Balboa Street.

pattyblog2use  pattyblog3useThe Balboa Theater, in business since February of 1926, can be seen as the gang enters the bank. A view from the opposite angle shows them making their getaway.


The actual bank robbed by Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army is at this location in the Sunset District. Here’s the surveillance video from the famous robbery.


The Sunset District

quintarasuse Speaking of the Sunset District, here’s a vintage San Francisco Archives picture from Bill Yenne’s terrific collection of San Francisco then & now pictures looking down Quintara Street at 15th Ave. from the Sunset Heights steps in 1940. They still had room to develop! That’s Lincoln High School being constructed in the background and today.  Marcellauseone Right around the corner from the Sunset Heights steps, the psycho Scorpio ran up these steps near Noriega and 14th Ave. at Grand View Park to kidnap a school bus full of children in the 1971 film ‘Dirty Harry’.  marcellatwouse The frightened lady driver of the bus he hijacks was named Marcella Platt in the movie. If all lady school bus drivers were named Marcella Platt, this would be a better world! shrinersbloguse A speeding ticket on 19th Avenue in 1926:
“This ticket’s going to cost you 50 cents, Mister!”
“Can I work it off, Officer?”
That’s the original Shriner’s Hospital Building in the background.

“a tiny corner of this great big world”

StoogeFerrybloguse The Ferry Building clock in the 1930’s, (I hope that wasn’t the Three Stooges up there!) and the clock with an orange Ferry Building in October of 2014 during another Giants Championship run.  HotelEmpirebloguse The Sky Room in the old Empire Hotel near the Civic Center rivaled The Top of the Mark for rooftop lounging in the 1940’s. Cushmankearny1952replace Another Cushman Collection gem, Market, 3rd, and Kearny in 1952:  Farnsworthtvsansomebloguse It’s interesting that Charles Cushman would take a color picture of this unimposing building on the corner of Green and Sansome Streets at the bottom of Telegraph Hill in 1952, when its significance was not generally recognized yet. You’ll notice the Historical Marker in front of the building that was not there in 1952. An event occurred here on September 7, 1927 that had an impact on everybody in the world from Lucille Ball to me, who spends most of my spare time reaping the benefits of what happened here. This is where the first television set was invented.  FISHERMANSLAGOON1950USE Fisherman’s Wharf Lagoon, 1950: Darn, I forgot which one was the San Francisco Archives picture, and which one was the one I took!

More talking to the Stars around San Francisco

butterflies  “Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, you guys are passing by my favorite watering hole in the City, Vesuvio’s. Are you going in?”
“You bet your sweet bippy!”
“Oh, Goldie, you stopped saying that when Laugh-In went off the air!” (Butterflies Are Free – 1972)

Phallic “Tyne Daly, Clint Eastwood! What are you guys doing up on Telegraph Hill?”
“Tyne was telling me that Coit Tower has always seemed phallic to her!”
“Well, size doesn’t matter.” (The Enforcer – 1976)

bathroombogie “Bogart! Hello again. Where are you going in the jalopy?”
“I’m looking for a place to go to the bathroom!”
“Okay. Well, come back in about seventy years.” (Dark Passage – 1947)

Chaplin “Charlie Chaplin! Have a nice trip! See you next fall. Don’t get mad, I probably learned that one from you!” (A Night Out – 1915)

BogieUnionSquare “Bogie, here you are riding here on a cable car past Union Square! Where are you off to now?”
“I’m hiding from the cops, and I’m not going to let them catch me. I’ll go down shooting if they spot me”
“Oh! Well, I’ll just get off right here, okay?” (Dark Passage)

TalkPJoeyuse “Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak! Where are you two going?”
“That’s it! It’s all over! There’s nothing left for us!”
“The Golden Gate Bridge!!! You’re not thinking of….. You’re not going to…..”
“No! The movie’s over. Go home, kid!” (Pal Joey – 1957)

“Get back to where you once belonged”

Balstradeuse The parking lot from the entrance to Coit Tower in the 1930’s and today: The balustrade with the urns was considered unsightly by many, and was removed by the 1940’s.  3DChinatownuse Chinatown in 3D colors: Not really, but that was popular in the 1950’s when the top picture was taken.  Hortiusetwo This picture bothers me! I love the view from Coit Tower, but sometimes it would be nice to just enjoy the Telegraph Hill view from the parking lot, like you used to be able to, without the claustrophobic elevator ride to the top of the tower. For some reason, they will not trim the bushes that now almost entirely block the view from ground level. I’m not a horti….. a horti….. a person who cultivates plants, so I don’t know if there is some reason that this will harm them or if this is just a deliberate attempt to force visitors to pay for the ride to the top of Coit Tower.  Sansomerockuse Sansome Street at the bottom of Telegraph Hill:
“Hey, Mulldoon, we better run the license plate so we can notify the owner of the boulder that crashed down on the person’s car.”
“Wait, Officers, don’t leave! I’m inside the car!”
They’ve shored up this area since this Images of America picture was taken in 1948.  Macarthuruse “I shall return!” He wasn’t taking about San Francisco. One of the principal players in the drama of World War Two, General Douglas MacArthur, giving a speech in front of City Hall in the 1950’s during the Korean War.  GuardtowerbloguseA guard in a tower on Alcatraz Island when it was still a penitentiary: That would have been good enough for me; he probably had a pretty high powered rifle.
“Hey, Mugsy, let’s go back to the cell.”