Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Portrait In Black - I. Magnin's on Union Square

  How does a lady meet with her lover when she can't drive and her husband's chauffeur takes her everywhere?  Sheila has just heard that her amour David Rivera, who also happens to be her husband's doctor, is leaving the country to take up a new job.  She is desperate to see him.

Then ...  She has the chauffeur drop her off at I. Magnin's flagship store on Union Square, asking him to return later.  They pull up in front of the main entrance on Geary near Stockton (map).  The signs along along the Geary block include Macy's, Frank Werner's Shoes and Dohrmanns.

... and Now,  the same view today.  The St. Francis Hotel takes up the whole Powell Street block in the background and there's still an entrance to the parking lot below Union Square at far right.  The plaza itself has been relaid out with many more steps for easier access from the sidewalks.


... a vintage photo ...  this early 1960s postcard pictures the block on Geary as it was when the movie was filmed.  I. Magnin's is the tall white building left of center and to its right is Blum's and Macy's Geary street entrance (its main building is behind it on O'Farrell) and Dohrmanns department store is further along.  The City Of Paris store with its rooftop Eiffel Tower is at far left across Stockton Street.

... and Now,  I. Magnin was purchased by Macy's in the late 1980s and its store is now a Macy's building but the original entrance, left of center below, today leads into a Louis Vuitton store.


Then ...  Sheila makes her way through the store.  Behind her, across Union Square on the Post Street block, we see a narrow three story building with arched windows on the top floor and a balustrade at roof level.

... a vintage photo ...  here's the same block back in 1947 where we see the same narrow building next to the Hotel Plaza.  These are the two buildings seen in the movie image above.

... and Now,  the same block today.  The narrow building, at 340 Post (with awnings over the arched windows), is the only survivor on this block since the 1940s.  Built in 1923 for Bullock and Jones, they were there for over eighty years until Sonoma Williams recently took it over.


Then ...  But shopping is the last thing on her mind.  She passes directly through I. Magnin's, exits onto Stockton Street, hails a cab and directs it to Rivera's apartment.  Sneaky.  The cross street is Geary and the store at right across Stockton is the City of Paris.  Across Geary is Guaranty Savings.  Check out that $8,000 tourmaline mink coat worn by Lana Turner - it was flown in from New York just for this scene.

... and Now,  the same view.  The City of Paris store at far right has been rebuilt with a glass facade and is now the home of Nieman Marcus.  Bulgari is the tenant now across Geary where Guaranty Savings was.

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