Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Exiles - 3rd Street Tunnel and Rico's place

  (A Bunker Hill movie in a San Francisco blog?  CitySleuth explains why).

  Homer and his friend Rico (Rico Rodriguez) stop by Rico's pad by way of the 3rd Street tunnel. 

Then ...  They first swing by the newspaper stand at the lower terminus of the Angels Flight funicular (described earlier in this blog) on the southwest corner of Hill and 3rd Street (map) where the impassive, ever patient vendor waits for the next late night customer.

... and Now,  here's how this corner looks today.


Then ...  As they walk across Hill Street in this panorama the 3rd Street tunnel regresses behind them for three blocks to where it emerges near Flower Street.   At far left is the Redondo Cafe at 301 S. Hill Street next to Angels Flight (with the newspaper stand) and at far right is the Royal Liquor store at 259 S. Hill (click image to enlarge).

... and Now,  it became a very different junction after the massive redevelopment of the late 1950s and 1960s.  The buildings on either side of the junction were razed and Angels Flight was relocated a half block south.  The tunnel is still there but its entrance was extended to create a foundation for the modern structure built above it.

... in 1957 ...  the vintage photo below captured the same junction by day.

... in 1965 ...  and here's what urban cleansing had wrought just a few years later, part way into the Bunker Hill redevelopment program.


Then ...  Rico nips into the Royal Liquor store for a bottle of booze then they head through the tunnel on their way to his rented rooms, swigging the bottle (overtly wrapped in a paper bag - who are they trying to fool?) as they go.

... and Now, a recent photo reveals that the tunnel looks just the same inside, except for the painted-over graffiti (a modern, not a 1950s, phenomenon).


Then ...  They climb the stairs to Rico's place on the third level of this apartment house. 

... in 1955 ...  this is the backyard of 916 W. 1st Street between Figueroa and Fremont (map).  Long since demolished, the building was captured here in this vintage 1955 photograph, looking northeast - the hillside across 3rd Street can be seen on the left.  Two of the same clotheslines can be seen in both images.

... and Now,  the Promenade Towers apartment complex now sits not only on this site but also the entire block.  The arrow points to where Rico's backyard used to be, at the far corner of its pool area.

   Looking in the opposite direction we see, from Rico's balcony, the narrow alley that led to the backyard (it ran along the right side of the pool above). The view across the city looks to the southwest.


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