Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

  The drab urban surroundings of the Produce Market were punctuated by splashes of color on the sides of stacked crates.  These labels today have become collectibles.

Then ...  Mike Figlia is standing in front of his business at 364 Washington Street next to a stack of crates of Cape Cod cranberries.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

... and here is that same Honker Brand label in full color, featuring flying geese.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

 

Then ...  Nick walks past a stack of Melo-Glow melon crates.  This was a brand name of the Half Moon Fruit and Produce Co. whose building was used for Mike Figlia's business ...

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

... and below is a similar Melo-Glow brand label.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

 

  Let's walk down crate label memory lane and look at more, these from the businesses seen in the movie at and near the Washington - Davis junction.  Below are one from John DeMartini and one from Scatena Galli - ("Essangee", get it?) ...

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels
... and these two from Levy & Zentner.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

 

  But wait till you see these ...  the F. H. Hogue Co. wasn't averse to using sex to push their products ...

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels
... and this one - thankfully the red-faced redhead was wearing underwear.

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels
  But this one tops them all!

Thieves' Highway - Crate Labels

Petulia - Companions of the Evergreen Lodge

  Archie dutifully tries to return the stolen tuba to the address given him by Petulia - "... the Companions of the Evergreen Lodge on Grant Street".  He finds the place but can't get a response at the front door.

Then ...  Assuming she meant Grant Avenue, she was close - this location is at 782 Sacramento Street, near the corner with Grant Avenue.

Petulia - Companions of the Evergreen Lodge
... and Now,  the view east down Sacramento from Grant today.  The 782 entrance door is now gated.  As is the case with many parts of Chinatown there has been little change over the last half century, one of the reasons the neighborhood continues to hold onto its character.  May it stay that way.

Petulia - Companions of the Evergreen Lodge

The Sniper - Amusement Park

  Miller is next seen at an amusement park.  One might expect director Dmytryck would pick San Francisco's Playland At The Beach for these scenes but no, he chose The Pike at Long Beach in southern California.  The reason soon becomes apparent ...

Then ...   Miller can't resist the shooting gallery.  The Double Wheel ride towers over him in the background.

The Sniper - Amusement Park

... a vintage postcard image ...  the Pike, open since 1902, was closed down in 1979 but this image shows the Double Wheel ride during its heyday.

The Sniper - Amusement Park

 

Then ...  The Cyclone Racer rollercoaster is behind him as he passes the Laff In The Dark ride, a main attraction at The Pike.

The Sniper - Amusement Park

... from the 1950s ...  a vintage photo of the ride in full color.

The Sniper - Amusement Park

 

  Below, Miller can't resist this one - an opportunity to vent his misogynistic feelings (click image to enlarge).

 

Then (1964) ...  The Pike amusement park, in yellow on the 1964 map below, extended along Seaside Blvd between Magnolia Pier and Rainbow Pier (click image to enlarge).

... and Now,  land reclamation and redevelopment has swallowed up both of these old piers.  The Rainbow Pier is now the site of the Long Beach Convention Center.  The site of the original Pike is overlayed on this ma (click image to enlarge).

... and Now,  today there is a new Pike at Rainbow Harbor, a development completed in 2004 (map).  A shadow of its former self, it is primarily a retail/dining/cinema complex.  In a nod to the past it has a Ferris Wheel, a Carousel and a footbridge with a design that invokes the original Cyclone Racer roller coaster.

The Sniper - Amusement Park

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

  Bullitt meets Cathy and friends at the Coffee Cantata, a real cafe with that name at 2026 Union Street in the Cow Hollow district.  It is now the popular Betelnut restaurant.

Then ...   There's a pastry counter at the front of the cafe and a coffee bar up the right side.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

... and Now,  a full bar replaced the confectionery and the coffee bar up the stairs is gone.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

 

  Then ...  Up the stairs, a jazz quartet is playing in the back corner next to the coffee bar.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

... and Now,  with the coffee bar gone, this space has become the side dining area.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

 

Then ...  Bullitt and Cathy join their friends at a table at the rear, filmed though the window from the rear deck.  The band's bass player can be seen off to the left.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata
... and Now,  the rear deck was sacrificed when the Betelnut renovation pushed the rear wall back for added space.  The same view, taken inside from where the deck was, shows part of Betelnut's open kitchen.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

 

  The jazz band plays throughout the entire Coffee Cantata scene; they are seen below behind a radiant Cathy.

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

A collage of the band members from the movie is shown below.  The band was Meridian West and the musicians were:

Guitar - Larry Vogt                       Flute - Julie Iger Roseman

Percussion - Al Pimental             Bass - Nat Johnson                    

  Citysleuth learned the identity of the band from a reader of this blog (see comments at the bottom of this post including much appreciated background about the gig from flutist Julie Roseman and news and comments from other band members).

Bullitt - Coffee Cantata

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

  A lot of the movie's action was filmed at the Washington and Davis Streets junction, the central hub of the Produce District.  Let's take a look at the businesses on each corner of the junction, as seen in the movie.  Click here to see a map.

 

1.  Southeast Corner

  Mike Figlia's business was on the southeast corner (actually the Half Moon Fruit and Produce business) and is described as a separate location - click here to see it.

 

2.  Southwest corner

Then ...  The view looks west along Washington across Davis, with Mike Figlia's partly visible at far left.  Opposite, on the southwest corner of the junction, is the John DeMartini Produce Co.  Further down Davis, Ceylon Street tees in between DeMartini and the taller hotel next to it.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... and Now, the concrete -walled Golden Gateway Garage occupies this corner, in the shadow of the Alcoa Building next to it.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

 

3.  Northwest corner

Then ...  A. Levy and J. Zentner Co. was on this corner.  Once a significant tree-fruit produce distributor in the Central Valley, Levy & Zentner has in the last few years channeled most of its resources into beer distribution.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... from 1945 ...  this archival photo (below) shows the same view north along Davis from Washington.  Traffic chaos prevailed as usual, especially when the E Union streetcar rolled by.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... and Now,  a retail - residential building borders this block of Davis, now closed to through traffic.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

 

4.  Northeast corner

Then ...  Kitty corner from the John DeMartini building on the southwest corner was another John DeMartini building, in the background below.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... from the 1950s ...  this archival photo shows a better view of the same building.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis
... and Now,  this corner is part of the Gateway Apartments and Townhomes.

Thieves' Highway - Washington and Davis

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