Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Play It Again, Sam - On The Waterfront

Then ...  So far it's been three dates, three strikeouts from Linda and Dick's efforts to find a girlfriend for Allan.  Undeterred, Dick takes him to a waterfront restaurant to meet Julie, a girl at his office.  As they pull up the telephoto lens expands a ship berthed at a pier in the background.

... and Now,  this was filmed outside the Spinnaker restaurant at the end of Spinnaker Drive in Sausalito (map); across the water is the Sausalito Ferry Pier.  The ship was the Southern Pacific Railroads' Berkeley, one of the many ferries that plied the bay during the first half of the 20th century.  After retiring from service in 1958 it spent 12 years moored here operating as a gift shop, the Trade Fair.  Below is the pier today, viewed from the same spot, but the Berkeley is no longer there.

   Here's a vintage postcard of the ferry during its time in Sausalito.

    In 1973 the 1700 passenger ferryboat, whose proudest moments were spent carrying survivors across to Oakland after the 1906 earthquake, was towed to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.  There, lovingly restored, it continues to be on display to this day.


Then ...  But when they enter the restaurant, this is not the Spinnaker - it's the Trident at 558 Bridgeway in Sausalito (map - the Trident is arrowed in red and the Spinnaker in blue.  The ferry pier is equidistant between them).

... and Now,  there have been some changes over the years but the basic interior look and feel remains the same.


Then ...  Their view of the bay through floor-to-ceiling windows as they head to the back patio is expansive.  Note the decorative Japanese Torii gate outside at far left.

... and Now,  the windows have since been replaced and restyled.


Then ...  Dick spots Julie with friends on the patio and urges Allan, resisting strenuously, to meet her.  (Was the waitress in the diaphanous outfit hired straight from a red-light club on Broadway?)

... and Now,  the Torii gate is no longer there at the far end and the elevated section at near right is now hemmed in by railings.  You'll have to take CitySleuth at his word when he says that the spectacular patio view takes in Belvedere, Angel Island, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge - east and west, the glorious San Francisco skyline and, from the far end, the hills of Sausalito.


    Allan nervously thumps the table causing lettuce and croutons to fly all over the place as he once again makes a fool of himself.  Surprisingly Julie, the one in red and white, agrees to a date.  (Stay tuned, this should be good).


Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - What's With Geoffrey?

 Then ...  At 720 Steiner Street, the home she shares with Geoffrey, Elizabeth is getting worried about an inexplicable change in his demeanor and behavior.  She wakes one morning and follows him down the staircase as he leaves the house.

... and Now,  the railings and walls have since been painted over and there's no longer artwork covering the window.


   As she watches through the front window he dumps something, she knows not what, into the back of a garbage truck (just like the truck seen earlier outside the dry cleaners where the owner complained to Matthew that his wife "... not my wife").  What is going on?


 Then ...  Later she follows him again; he leads her across a footbridge where the telephoto lens pulls the background, including a stainless steel sculpture, towards us.

... and Now,  this is the footbridge over Washington Street looking south across Maritime Plaza (map) towards One Embarcadero Center.  The sculpture, still there, is by Swiss sculptor Willi Gutmann.  A closer view of the same sculpture was seen in the 1974 movie The Conversation.


 Then ...  She watches, puzzled, as he meets a group of people she has never seen before.

... and Now,  this is the escalator of the One Maritime Plaza office highrise which connects the plaza level to the street level lobby; it was called the Alcoa building when the movie was filmed (map).  Forty years on, the lobby, including the bench against the back wall and the lights arrayed around the walls, looks much the same.


    Elizabeth wanders through town with an eerie feeling that everyone around her has changed in some way.


 Then ...  She passes  a cable car on Powell Street pulling in to the turntable at Market (map).  On the surface things look normal, but she is convinced there's a conspiracy going on.

... and Now,  a cable car awaits its turn to rumble down to the turntable.  Sephora, an upmarket beauty products store, has replaced the International restaurant and the building next to it now housing Burger King has a shiny new exterior.  The old California Cafe sign painted on the side of the building at top center has survived remarkably well over the years.


Play It Again, Sam - Beach House

Then ...  Linda and Dick head off to the beach with Allan.  They cross the Golden Gate Bridge and head north into Marin County on Highway 101 in Dick's slick 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible.

... and Now,  this is the north end of the twin-bore Waldo Tunnelrecently renamed the Robin Williams Tunnel in memory of the local actor/comedian.  Originally it was a single bore tunnel with two-way traffic; this second one was added in 1955, each now being one-way (map).


Then ...  They arrive at their beach house destination.

... and Now,  here's that same front garden today, viewed from a different angle.  The wall they were passing, above, has been brightened by a blaze of bougainvillea, below.


Then ...  The house, 336 Seadrift Road in the resort town of Stinson Beach (map),  is one of a long line here fringing the Pacific Ocean.


Then ...  They admire the ocean view despite, or perhaps because, it is shrouded in mist.

... and Now,  after deducing the address CitySleuth came across a promo video from a 2013 real estate listing with great images of the property showing remodel upgrades.  Here's the same living room, staged, and with photoshopped views and flickering fireplace.


Then ...  While Allan and Linda stroll on the beach Dick holds a meeting with a group of his investor friends on the home's enclosed patio.

... and Now,  this shot of the patio, shielded by a glass wall over on the right side, was filmed from the beach .


    A telephoto lens zooms in on Allan and Linda while they converse on the beach.  The little town of Bolinas spills down behind them to a concrete retaining wall on its beach .

Then ...  here's the same shot seen widescreen; it was filmed from the house.  The distant concrete wall is no longer there but the ocean continues to encroach behind them at the spit, connecting Bolinas Bay on the left to Bolinas Lagoon, off the frame on the right.

... and Now,  the view, unchanged, is even better on a clear day.


Then ...  Later, they continue their conversation on Highway 1 overlooking Stinson Beach (map).

... and Now,  from the same spot Bolinas Lagoon is visible at the far end of the beach on the right.


    That evening, Allan puts the move on a sexy lady at a local club (Susanne Zenor) but once again is rebuked.

    CitySleuth has yet to find this place.  There were lots of extras in this scene, perhaps one amongst them will see this post - if so, please comment below or email him ( with location information.

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Invasion Of The Body Snatchers -  "They're Coming!  They're Coming!"

Then ...  Elizabeth is scared. She shares her fears with Matthew as they drive around the city.  Her fragile psyche is augmented by the fragmentation of his shattered windscreen, damaged earlier in the movie.

... and Now,  they are heading west on Turk Street as viewed from Leavenworth in the Tenderloin district (map).  Approaching on the left is the tall arched entrance of the Oasis Apartments at 351 Turk, built in 1928 and formerly a YMCA hotel.


Then ...  She tells him that Geoffrey has been furtively meeting with total strangers.  She is becoming paranoid; convinced that everyone around her has changed overnight.

... and Now,  still in the Tenderloin, they are traveling east on Golden Gate Avenue; Market Street is ahead (map).  The Golden Gate Theatre marquee is on the left; the theatre was being renovated when this photo was taken.


Then ...  Matthew, disbelieving but wanting to help, again encourages her to meet with his psychiatrist friend David Kibner.

... and Now,  still heading east on Golden Gate, they have backtracked four blocks, crossing Larkin (map).  Driving continuity in movies is rarely accurate.  The corner store on the left is now peddling croissants instead of loans.


Then ...  With a start Matthew jumps on his brakes as a man suddenly appears in front of them.

... and Now,  this is the junction of Leavenworth and Eddy Streets.  The upscale Black Cat Jazz Supper Club, a recent bold addition to the Tenderloin, currently occupies the northwest corner site (map).

    The terrified man screams out at them ... "They're coming!  They're coming!  You're next!  You're next!".  For this cameo, director Kaufman, in a nod of appreciation, chose Kevin McCarthy, who played the lead role in the original 1956 black-and-white version of this movie. 

    Here he is screaming the same warning 22 years earlier.


Then ...  The man rushes down Eddy ahead of a crowd of pursuers.

... and Now,  Another new addition, the Tenderloin Museum, is on the northeast corner (opposite the Back Cat) where the Ringside Smoke Shop used to be.


Then ...  A squeal of brakes, a thudding crash; just around the corner they see a body lying at the kerb ringed by a crowd in front of the Hamlin Hotel.

... and Now,  This view looks east down Eddy with Market Street in the distance.  The Hamlin is still there on the right, at 385 Eddy where a metal balcony over the entrance has since replaced the two masonry ones seen in the movie shot.  Still there is the cleaners store further down the block.


   The messenger lies dead, to the impassive satisfaction of his pursuers.  If you won't join them ...


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