Then ... Val, responding to Arlene's telegrammed cry for help, speeds south down 4th Street on her way to Butchertown Bridge. Behind her, facing us, is the Roos Bros. department store on Market Street (map).
... and Now, The store today houses the Union Square branch of Forever 21.
The Roos Bros. store opened October 31, 1908 to great fanfare, an important contribution to the city's downtown post-earthquake recovery. It's pictured here after a 1937 remodel; Stockton Street intersects at far left.
Then ... Now it's the turn of the police to join the chase - a police captain's car pulls out of Harbor Police Station from the left side and heads south on Drumm Street, about to pass the masonry arched Engine 12 firehouse at far right on the southwest corner of Drumm and Commercial Street.
... and Now, Three Embarcadero Center replaced this block of Commercial Street in the 1970s and a pedestrian bridge was added above Drumm. Ann Taylor and a Naturalizer Store currently overlap the location of the old firehouse site (map).
This 1953 photo of a 1929 hose tender taken outside the Engine 12 firehouse shows the masonry arches seen in the movie. The window visible through the open door looked out onto Commercial.
Then ... The police station, kitty-korner across Drumm from the firehouse, spits out a cadre of cops on bikes.
... a vintage photo ... a wider view of Harbor Police Station, on the northeast corner of Drumm and Commercial, is seen in this photo.
... and Now, the Embarcadero Four Center sits astride where this Commercial Street block used to be. For a look at the block before it was demolished go here.
Then ... Tony's cab isn't far behind Val as it heads across Market about to turn into 4th Street. Note the vertical sign at far left for the California Theatre, San Francisco's first real movie palace, which opened in 1917.
... and Now, the building on the right corner dates from 1908 and has survived but the theatre building across 4th at 799 Market was demolished in 1961, subsequently replaced by the retail/office building still there today.
.... here's a 1944 vintage photo that, 10 years later, reproduces the Then image above. By then the movie house had been renamed the State Theatre, continuing under this name until it closed down in 1961. Note Roos Bros. store opposite.
And for those theatre history buffs amongst us here's a c. 1917 photo taken shortly after the original California Theatre opened.
Then ... When the cops make a turn into a wide thoroughfare a barely legible United Cigars store sign on the corner at left provided the clue to this location.
... a vintage photo ... CitySleuth came across this 1921 photo taken from the same spot; it looks east along Mission Street past 4th (map). The United Cigars store was at 99 4th Street.
... and Now, the soul of SoMa is rapidly crumbling under the encroachment of impersonal modern buildings.
Here's a challenge, dear readers - the location of this next shot of Tony's cab has so far stumped CitySleuth. Does anybody out there recognize it? (The sloping hill at the end of the street may be the best clue)...
... a closer view of the hillside is seen as the cab nears the end of the road. Note the path or road winding up the lowest part of the hill. But where is this?