Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Experiment In Terror - Showdown at Candlestick Park

  The exciting final scenes of the movie take place at Candlestick Park, opened in 1960 as the permanent home of the Giants baseball team which had moved three years earlier from New York to San Francisco.  The team played their first two seasons at Seals Stadium during construction of the new stadium.

... In 1961 ...  This vintage photo shows the stadium as it was the year the movie scenes were filmed.  It was designed in the traditional manner with semicircular stands.  The stadium is located at Candlestick Point in the Bayview district (map).

... and Now, here is Candlestick Park today as viewed on Google Earth. The original section (on the right) is mostly unchanged but the stands were extended into a full oval when the San Francisco 49ers football team moved here from Kezar Stadium in 1971. They shared the stadium with the Giants before they moved in 2000 to their newly built ballpark in the South Beach neighborhood.


Then ...  The cab drops Kelly off at the pedestrian bridge (seen at bottom right in the stadium images above) and she crosses over to the stadium.

... and Now, the bridge was still in use in 2012 when CitySleuth visited the stadium.

... update ... all of the 'Now' photos in this post were taken in 2012 when CitySleuth was fortunate enough to gain unlimited access.  Fortunate, because in 2015 the venerable ballpark was torn down.  In this photo the bridge, at upper left, is left disconnected from the stadium mid-demolition.


Then ...  Inside the stadium the game has started - the Giants are playing the Los Angeles Dodgers that night and in the background we hear the play-by-play by Vin Scully, the well-known Dodgers announcer.  A policeman, one of many posted around the stadium by agent Ripley, looks out from a box.

... and Now, the same view looking down on a pristine grass surface laid shortly before CitySleuth's visit.


Then ...  Kelly takes her seat in the Lower Reserve, just below the overhanging boxes.  Behind her on the back wall the letters 'Sec 8' can be seen, so she is seated in the adjacent Section 6.

... and Now, in a comment on the previous post reader Doug Leurey challenged CitySleuth to find the actual seat she sat in.  To do this he noted that there was a railing in front of her (above) and that the row in front of it was clear of seats for snack vendor access.  Today that row is filled in with seats but there are marks in the concrete floor where the railing used to be, identifying Kelly's row as Row 2.  Also, there was no aisle seat next to her so her seat, using the current numbering, would be Section 6 Lower Reserved, Row 2 Seat 2.


Then ...  The game ends without Red Lynch, the extortionist, trying to contact her.  The crowd files out, seen here outside the Section 6 Lower Reserve exit.

... and Now, the recent photo shows little change, even the men's room is in the same spot.


  Lynch, hiding behind sunglasses and hoodie, grabs Kelly in the midst of the surging crowd.


Then ...  The police move in and Ripley manages to grab Lynch but he breaks free and rushes down through the now empty stadium and onto the field, pausing on the pitcher's mound.

... and Now, the baseball field is a football surface but these were the original stands and they still look the same viewed from this vantage point.


Then ...  In this shot, viewed from the pitcher's mound looking past the visitor's dugout, the police look like ants as they swarm in pursuit down the aisles and through the seats.

... and Now, these same Sections 8, 10, 12 and 16 still match up except that some of the original aisles have been filled in with seats, readily discernible by the darker hue.  The third base dugout is still there (their white chairs are barely visible).


Then ...  Justice is served when a brief shootout leaves Lynch dramatically dead on the pitcher's mound - Ripley himself finally gets his man.  In the background is the scoreboard, between two banks of stadium lights (also seen above in the top photo of this post).

... and Now,  the location where the pitcher's mound used to be is marked by the arrow, below.  The football stands added after the 49ers took over the park pass in front of where the scoreboard used to be, between the two sets of stadium light poles in the background.


  Meanwhile Toby has been found safe by the police and she and Kelly are reunited in a satisfyingly happy conclusion conforming to Hollywood's moral standard of the time: crime does not pay.

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