Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Laughing Policeman - Hall Of Justice

    Several scenes in the movie were filmed at the Hall of Justice, the headquarters of the San Francisco Police Department at 850 Bryant Street in the SOMA district.  The gargantuan monolith was built in the 1960s to replace the predecessor headquarters at Portsmouth Square (seen here in the 1958 movie The Lineup).  Here's a recent photo of 'The Hall'.


Then ...  Larsen has been assigned to replace Jake's murdered partner.  The investigators meet at the Coroner's office to view the bus victims - the facility is at the north side of the Hall (map). The elevated freeway seen from the lobby through the window on the right is interstate 80 heading east toward the Bay Bridge

... and Now,  it's still in the same place but the coroner's office is now known as the Medical Examiner's Office.  A modern prison facility, visible in the background, was added in the 1990s.

    This aerial shows the location of the Medical Examiner's office (arrowed) and the adjacent futuristically styled prison building.  Bryant Street runs across the bottom with 7th Street crossing at far left.  Look at how closely I-80 passes by the prison cells.


   Inside the morgue the victims are laid out for the coroner's scrutiny but Jake and Larsen are more interested in the victims' belongings - they sift through them looking for clues that might lead to the gunman.


Then ...  The exterior of The Hall may be drab but on entering the main entrance visitors are pleasantly surprised to find a warmly marbled open space.  This view of Larsen as he enters was filmed through the glass partition of the Public Information desk.

6 - hoj 3.jpg

... and Now,  the entrance lobby today is not so open.  There are now airport style bag scanner lines and a partition has been installed to the side of the information desk.  It's good though to see those same chandeliers.

6 - hoj 3 now.jpg

    Inside the Hall Jake's boss Lt. Styner (Anthony Zerbe) is becoming impatient with the lack of progress and demands results from them both.


Then ...  They exit the building via the main entrance on Bryant Street.

... and Now,  there are some changes, the most obvious being the handrails.  And, the steps look as though they have been replaced or resurfaced.


Then ...  As they drive off we are looking east down Bryant.  6th Street crosses between the Boormann Steel building and the Coca-Cola billboard down the road at 5th and there's a Standard Chevron gas station at right on the corner of Harriet.  Note the Fallout Shelter sign on the left- there's not many of them around these days.

... and Now,  a parking lot has replaced the gas station, the Boormann Steel building is gone but the Coca-Cola in-your-face message lives on.  Those SFPD vehicles are blatantly double-parked but who will ticket them?


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