Pal Joey - International Settlement
Where does an out-of-work, down-on-his-luck singer find a job? Why, the infamous International Settlement, a single block chock full of clubs, bars and restaurants in the Jackson Square neighborhood of San Francisco.
Then ... This is the place, Pacific Avenue between Kearny and Montgomery (map). The camera looks east from Kearny Street and captures several of the red light hotspots. On the left - Arabian Nights cocktail lounge, Gay 'N Frisky club, Hippodrome club, the Bella Pacific and Moulin Rouge. On the right past McKale's 76 service station and the Toast of the Coast club we see the Barbary Coast sign just below the 'TT' on the entrance arch. The director spiffed up the block to look like it was in its heyday, including clubs (Arabian Nights, Hippodrome) that used to be there but were closed by 1957 when the movie was filmed.
Then ... Joey first tries the Bella Pacific club at 560 Pacific, but the owner turns him away, saying ... "I'm running a girl show ... legs, not tonsils".
... and Now, the club site today has a new building, addressed 560 and 564 Pacific, but past it the next door building, with the set-back entrance and fire escape balconies, is the original.
Then ... He next tries a club with a middle eastern theme but it has run afoul of the law and has been closed down. This is the Arabian Nights, partially seen at far left in the first 'Then' image at the top of this post.
Then ... Finally, he lucks out at the Barbary Coast club at 533 Pacific, hard to miss thanks to its neon sexy-legs sign. The bar next door at 539 Pacific, here called the Toast Of The Coast, was actually vacant when the movie was filmed. It was previously the House Of Blue Lights.
In the Barbary Coast Joey takes the stage and seems taken with one of the chorus girls, Linda English (Kim Novak). He then entertains us with the first song of the movie ... "I Didn't Know What Time It Was". Sinatra was at his singing prime back then and delivers superb performances accompanied by terrific Nelson Riddle arrangements.