More celluloid settings in the City: (I know, these images are from after the celluloid film period, but I couldn’t find an expression that jingles with acetate)

ISpyuse Bill Cosby and Robert Culp at the Coit Tower parking lot in a 1968 episode of ‘I Spy’:

culpbrainwashuse At the same location in another episode while ‘I Spy’ was filming in San Francisco, Robert Culp is brainwashed by an enemy agent and ordered to kill himself by jumping from the top of Coit Tower.

kellyscottyuse ISpyadditionCulp is talked out of jumping at the top of the tower by his co-operative and friend, Bill Cosby. Cosby is in the news a lot lately, and he should be, but this was a groundbreaking role for an African American on television at the time, and the camaraderie between the two stars is still fun to watch today.

HOUSEUSE Valentina Cortese enjoys a moment with her pretend offspring (I have a couple of those myself) in her back yard, which is actually Pioneer Park behind Coit Tower, in the 1951 film ‘The House on Telegraph Hill’. Fifteen years earlier William Powell and Myrna Loy used the same location for the back yard of their home in the 1936 film ‘After the Thin Man’.

vertigouse James Stewart follows Kim Novak on the road to Fort Point where she will jump into the Bay, in the 1958 classic, ‘Vertigo’. See the You Tube link below.

Experterroruse Lee Remick catches a taxi at Jefferson and Taylor Streets in Fisherman’s Wharf  that will take her to Candlestick Park to deliver ransom money to Ross Martin, in the 1962 film ‘Experiment in Terror’. I’ve posted the following link before, but it’s a neat clip of the movie in a nutshell, and set to the soundtrack of the opening credits.

poolhouseoneuse In my opinion, the best television show set in San Francisco was ‘The Lineup’, also known as ‘San Francisco Beat’, that ran during the 1950’s Only a few grainy episodes are available, that I’ve been able to find, like this one with a scene filmed at Fleishhacker’s Pool. The pool and old Pool House can be seen behind the actors, as well as the diving structure at the far north end of the pool.  Poolhousemeuse The Pool House can be seen on the right in this photo of the pool taken from the diving platform. The Pool House was burned down in December of 2012 by homeless people occupying it, and only the front entrance seen below is left.  GGBonduse ‘A View to a Kill’ made in 1985, is considered one of the worst entries in the James Bond Series, but the fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge at the end is still a grabber! Check out the You Tube link here.

A look into the future

TransTerminaluse If the current rendering of what the new Trans Bay Terminal will look like is as accurate as this 1930’s drawing of the terminal that opened here in 1939 was, it’s going to be quite a building!  (Toll Bridge Authority Authority, Alioto Collection)

warriorsredo This 2014 rendition of a proposal to move the Warriors Basketball team back to San Francisco and a new arena to be built south of the Bay Bridge makes a nice comparison to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce photo of the 1950’s skyline of the City from the Epilogue Chapter of William Bronson’s book ‘The Earth Shook, The Sky Burned’.

BARTuse A 1960’s drawing of what the Powell Street BART and Muni Metro Terminal beneath Hallidie Plaza will look like:

GGBPlanuse A 1968 drawing of a double decked Golden Gate Bridge proposal: That’s an all very fine plan, but when the cars get to the edge, they’re going to fall into the Bay! Ta-da-boom!

GGBpieceuse Speaking of which; you can buy stock in 3M, Apple, or even Facebook, but I own a share of the Golden Gate Bridge!


first&Marketuse 1st and Market in the 1930’s, and on a drizzling Sunday yesterday: Not as busy, but a lot quieter. They didn’t need Xanax back in those days; they had a cocktail lounge on every corner. (San Francisco Main Library History Room)

First&Missionuse 1st and Mission, looks like the late 1970’s or early 1980’s: The streetcar is turning into the old Trans Bay Terminal Building that closed in 2010.

stockexchangebloguse The Stock Exchange Building at Pine and Sansome, in 1960, not the end of the Century like the street sign reads. (Bad joke!) It’s now the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange. (Phil Palmer)

poststocktonuse I may have posted this one of Post and Stockton at Union Square before, but I couldn’t find it in the archives so I’m posting it again. Anyway, it satisfies the curiosity that all human beings have as to what people looked like in crosswalks in the 1950’s as compared to today.

UnionSquareuseThe St. Francis Hotel from Stockton and Geary about a hundred years ago, and last Christmas: The construction is for the Muni Metro extension that will run underneath Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Elcapitanbloguse Ah, where are they now! Another Shorpy masterpiece, Showgirls at the old El Capitan Theater on Mission Street between 19th and 20th in 1932: The building with the arched window those cuties are in front of is now the Gas Head Tavern. The exterior façade of the El Capitan Theater is still there today.

kearnybloguse In front of the old Hall of Justice Building, once bail bond central: The old picture, kind of, exemplifies the activity of the area to me. On the right, the attorney, in the middle, the defendant, and on the left, a worried wife:

Wife: “What do you think he’ll get from the judge?”

Attorney: “Maybe not much, but we’d have had a better chance if he’d have wore a tie!”

That’s the Columbus Tower Building with the dome on top in the center of both pictures. The old Hall of Justice Building was demolished for the Hilton Hotel at the end of the 1960’s. (Phil Palmer)

More off location pictures (For Rick and Paula)

SLMemorialuse The 344th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion in front of the Veterans Building in San Leandro during World War Two: (Olga Rosaaen) SLPeltonuse Pelton Plaza Center on East 14th Street in San Leandro: (The San Leandro Museum)  SLCityhalluse San Leandro City Hall on East 14th Street in the 1940’s: (The San Leandro Museum) SLTerraceuse The Terrace Club on the San Leandro portion of Foothill Blvd. was a popular dining and dancing spot in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Aceuse The hardware store on the corner of B Street and Watkins in Hayward looks like a hardware store should look, and is still in business today.  VetHaywarduse The Veteran’s Building on Main Street in Hayward, built in the 1930’s: The artillery piece on the right is still there.  foothilltwouse Foothill Blvd in Hayward looking south from Russell way in what looks like the early 50’s. Smith’s was where the Copymat business is today. Copymat has moved one block south to B Street and Foothill since I took this picture last summer. Foothilluse Opening day of the Foothill Strip, Hayward in 1949: When the Southland Shopping Mall opened in the 1960’s this area dried up as the major shopping district of Hayward.  southlanduse The Southland Shopping Mall in the 1970’s and today:  Telegraphuse Look at how bustling this spot on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland once was! With the restoration of the Fox Oakland Theater on the left, this area’s coming back to life again. (Images of America Series)  OldFoxuse 1933 – The old Fox Theater on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. ‘Meet the Baron’; my three favorite Hollywood Stars, Moe, Larry, and Curly, got their start in this film. Rialtouse The old Rialto Theater at 2723 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland near Emeryville in the 1940’s. I don’t know who these guys were, but they had a great sense of humor! (Images of America Series)Carol&Clarkuse This one is a little farther south than my usually beat. That’s Carole Lombard and Clark Gable on the porch of their Encino Ranch home near Hollywood. I had a chance to find the house about fifteen years ago and took the bottom picture. Development has completely enclosed their ranch house, seen in these 1939 pictures, with some of the most expensive homes in California. The brick porch Carole and Clark are sitting on can be seen from the side to their left in the bottom photo.

San Francisco was made for weekends

weekinteruse Starting out the weekend on a Friday at the sinful International Settlement, seen here at Pacific Avenue and Montgomery Street in the 1940’s: There were lots of naughty places to visit, like the one on the corner. Pago, Pago, “L’Eggo My Eggo!” The International Settlement sign posts are still there at this intersection.

weekpier39use Pier 39, the perfect place on a weekend to take out-of-town visitors like Aunt Matilda, or Cousin Clarence when they show up unexpectedly; assuming, of course, that there are people who have an Aunt Matilda or Cousin Clarence!

weekmoviesuse Movie Theater Row near 5th and Market Streets, the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon: The ‘Jungle Doctor’ wouldn’t have got my money with that “Triple Teenage Riot” showing next door.

weektislanduse Treasure Island; not as exciting to visit as it was during the 1939 – 1940 World’s Fair, but the Treasure Island Flea Market on the last weekend of every month still draws a crowd. The building in front of the Sun Tower is the Administration Building, one of three buildings from the fair still on the island.

weekggparkuse A Sunday jaunt in Golden Gate Park: Not as many horse and buggies anymore, but lots of bicycles.

Themeless Thursday – Just a collection of unrelated photos

juliuscastlebloguse Julius Castle on Telegraph Hill in the 1940’s: A favorite hangout Dashiell Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, this building was also the setting for the 1951 film ‘The House on Telegraph Hill’. The restaurant closed in 2007.

transtermuse The Trans Bay Terminal Building on Mission Street in the 1940’s: It was because of bus trips from the East Bay as a teenager to this building that I first discovered the world of San Francisco. The bottom picture was taken in August of 2010 on the day the Trans Bay Terminal Building closed forever.

grantclayuse Yes, I’m very proud of myself with this one. By a careful study of Google Maps, countless trips to Chinatown, and a reliance on my own knowledge of San Francisco, I was able to determine that the vintage photo here was taken at Clay Street and Grant Avenue!

biritebloguse The Bi-Rite Grocery Store on 18th Street in the Mission District has been around since, at least, World War Two, and was still in business as of last Thanksgiving

villiancourtoneuse The Vaillancourt Fountain is, easily, the most controversial fountain in San Francisco. It looks like the entrails of a giant robot! Here Poppa Cop and Buddy Boy pass by the fountain in a 1972 episode of ‘The Streets of San Francisco’. Notice the Embarcadero Freeway in the background.

villiancourttwouse Justin Herman Plaza from the Vaillancourt Fountain in the same episode of the ‘Streets of San Francisco’ and today: This was ground central for the 2016 Super Bowl City.

SuddenFearuse “Mommie Dearest” on Russian Hill: Joan Crawford attempts to sneak into the Tamalpais Apartment Building at Greenwich and Hyde where Jack Palance lives to try to find out why he’s trying to kill her in the 1952 film noir movie ‘Sudden Fear’. Joan, what difference does it make why he’s trying to kill you? He’s trying to kill you! Do you really want to go in there?

singfatuse A cable car runs up California Street past the Sing Fat Building on the corner of Grant Avenue in the 1950’s: The open area on the right was where the Trafalgar Building, apparently just recently demolished, stood. That building was the location of Bob Hope and Allan Ladd’s offices in the 1947 comedy ‘My Favorite Brunette’ and was where the parking garage behind the HD Supply truck is today

trafalagaruse In scenes of the Trafalgar Building from ‘My Favorite Brunette’, one shot has Bob Hope looking down to California Street from an office window as Peter Lorre, the dark car, follows Dorothy Lamour in a taxi cab as she turns left onto Grant Avenue. Bob Hope’s car is the white convertible at the lower left.

taxi Bob Hope’s view from the Trafalgar Building down to the California Street sidewalk as Dorothy Lamour enters the taxi cab:

26 An old postcard of this location shows the Trafalgar Building with the faded advertisement that looks like some type of champagne bottle just to the right of the cable car climbing California Street.

cushmancablecaruse Cushman and the brakeman: A Cushman Collection photo from the early 1950’s at California Street and Grant Avenue.

Earthquakeletteruse This is a very interesting postcard sent after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. It reads, “Dear Hilla (or Lilla): This was but a small portion of SF and was, of course, entirely destroyed. The reports of (something) have not been exaggerated. Frisco is badly crippled. Clara”. The remodeled Call Tower, the tallest building in the old photo, is the brown and white striped building in about the same area of the frame in the modern picture.

The Cliff House and the Great Highway

GreatHighwayuse  Shorpy'sCliffHouse The Cliff House, looking from the north and south from the terrific Shorpy Picture Archive: They have some of the best vintage pictures I’ve ever seen. Below, is the link to their site. The top photo is looking south toward the Great Highway and Playland-at-the-Beach, (then known as Chutes at the Beach) in 1922 as the road to the Cliff House was being constructed: That thug in the car in the vintage picture looks like a hit man! The second picture is looking north toward the Cliff House in 1934 from the Great Highway: The family in the center car looks happy; I guess they were going to stop at Playland.   Topsy'suse The billboard in the previous picture is an advertisement for Topsy’s Roost with their 50 cent chicken dinners. Topsy’s Roost, seen here in photos from the Marilyn Blaisdell Collection, also had a dance floor in the basement that guests reached by sliding down large slides. Topsy’s was just a short way down from the corner of Balboa Street and the Great Highway, and would later house a slot car race track, and the Family Dog rock and roll concert hall. The building was demolished in the 1970’s and an empty lot occupies the spot today.                                                                               

Back in the Avenues

ExpGWashuse Looking down 30th Avenue toward Geary from Anza St in the Richmond District as Lee Remick drives Stefanie Powers to George Washington High School, on the left, in the 1962 thriller ‘Experiment in Terror’:  ExpStephanieuse At 25th and Clement, six blocks away from George Washington High School, Ross Martin kidnaps Stefanie at this corner in ‘Experiment in Terror’ The apartment building on the corner was still being built when the scene was filmed.  Arguello1use Two great pictures from the Shorpy’s Collection at the southeast corner of Arguello and Geary in 1927: Although, the picture of the cop scolding the lady jaywalker was, obviously, posed, I still like it. The Golden Bear Furniture building was where the red building with the circle windows is today. They still have a street signal and fire hydrant here, but the old hydrant was replaced by another old hydrant.  Arguello2use The opposite view shows the service station that was at this corner in 1927. The David Rumsey aerial photo from 1938, available for viewing on the San Francisco Main Library History Room site, clearly shows the gas station at this corner eleven years later. There’s still a service station there today!  Parksidetheateruse Now to the other side of Golden Gate Park and the Sunset District: Built in 1928, and seen here in 1959, the Parkside Theater building at 19th Avenue and Taraval Street has survived, but it’s now the Parkside Preschool building. I wanted to stop in for a quick one at the Ye Olde Spinning Wheel, but alas, it’s now something called Copy Circle. (Tom Gray)  Parksideattractionsuse The 1962 Summer schedule for the old Parkside Theater. Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Danny Kaye, Walt Disney, Charles Laughton, Robert Stack, Mickey Rooney, the Three Stooges, Lou Costello, Bugs Bunny, and Margaret O’Brien! Margaret’s, kind of, surrounded by men, but she’s got ‘The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock’ to protect her!
(Joseph McInerney Collection)  Avececiliause St. Cecilia’s Church nearing completion in 1956: “Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart!” I’m, probably, not the only one who has sang that while visiting here. This beautiful church sits on a hill at 17th and Vincente, and can be seen for miles as you approach.  AveRhondause 38th Avenue, between Wawona and Yorba in the 1950’s: Well, he’s not the only one with a bike like that. (Robert Menist)