Someday I’ll redo these (For Jenny)

After the cable cars are running again, I will. These are then and nows along the Powell and Taylor Streets cable car line from the early 1970s. The first two vintage pictures are from the Vintage Everyday website. The final seven vintage images are from an interesting three minute and six second silent film from the website taken from onboard a Powell/Taylor Line cable car by an unidentified passenger as it climbs over Nob Hill to the Bay and Taylor Street turnaround, and then back along Taylor, Mason and Powell Streets to Market Street. The home movie was probable taken circa 1970. l I tried to get most of my redos about where the passenger was filming without the advantage of being on a cable car.  Someday soon I hope to redo these while riding aboard a cable car. I’ll include the link to the Vimeo film after my comparison pictures for those who would like to watch it. (Thumbnail images)


We’ll start with a southern view of the Powell/Market Street turnaround, looking from Powell toward Market Street around 1971. (Vintage Everyday)

Looking northwest from the previous picture, you can see the Powell Theater behind the cable car, and still around in the 1970s. The Powell Theater was mentioned in the novel ‘The Maltese Falcon from 1929 when it was then called the Edison Theater. The Powell Theater was where the Burger King is now. (Vintage Everyday)

I’ll start the film comparisons here at Powell and O’Farrell Streets, heading north past the old Omar Khayyam’s Restaurant.

Approaching Geary Blvd. and the St. Francis Hotel: On the left is the legendary Gold Dust Lounge; one of Bing Crosby’s favorite hangouts when he was in San Francisco. The Gold Dust Lounge was where the marquee with the word EXPRESS is.

A couple jump on the cable car when it stops at Powell and Post Streets.

Approaching Sutter Street at Powell: We’re right in front of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on the right of us. There’s still a drug store at the corner on the left.

The film jumps abruptly the cable car turnaround at Taylor and Bay Streets near Fisherman’s Wharf. Cost Plus Imports closed this year, but the 76 Gas Station on the northeast corner of Taylor and Bay Streets is still going.


The cable car in the film heads back along Taylor to Mason to Powell Streets, and plunges back down Powell Street here at California.

The cable car rolls back to Market Street past Union Square, Blums Pastry Shop, and Macy’s.

Below is the link to the Vimeo film if you’d like to watch it.

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