Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

The Laughing Policeman - Fun Terminal

   Jake Martin sends two of his assistants working the murder case, Inspectors Pappas (Val Avery) and Larrimore (Louis Gossett Jr)  back to The TransBay Terminal on Mission Street to find out if the on-duty staff might have seen anything suspicious when the victims boarded the ill-fated bus.  They hear a ruckus ahead of them ... 


Then ...  A pimp outside the main upper level entrance is abusing his prostitute but Pappas and Larrimore quickly put a stop to it.  Across the street are two eye-catching signs, the Fun Terminal, an amusement arcade at 120 1st Street, and next to it the Wagon Wheel Tavern at 118 1st (map), both popular in their day with locals and with denizens of the night.

Then ...  None of those businesses, likewise the TransBay Terminal, are there anymore but here's a contemporaneous 1973 photo with them in the background.  The larger arrow at far left indicates where the pimp scene was filmed and the smaller points to the Fun Terminal on the corner of 1st and Minna.  Both it and the Wagon Wheel next door look rather ordinary sans neon glow in the harsh light of day.  Mission Street traffic passes by on the right.

and Now ...  here's the same view taken after the TransBay terminal was demolished in 2011.  The 1st Street block between Minna and Mission had already been claimed in 1988 by a 27-story office skyscraper, 100 First Plaza.  The Fun Terminal used to be at the bottom left corner of that building (arrowed).


    Larrimore takes the pimp down the ramp and around the corner on 1st and roughs him up some.  Below, he returns up the ramp inside the station to where his partner Pappas is questioning the prostitute at the upper entrance.  The Fun Terminal arcade glows across 1st Street.


... trivia but related ... A local art punk band called The Mutants became popular in San Francisco in the late 1970s.  In 1982 they released an album called 'Fun Terminal' featuring on the cover ... a great image of the amusement arcade - we can still see it as it was in its heyday!    The cocktail glass by the way is part of the adjacent Wagon Wheel sign, also visible four images above.  (The band is still at it, watch them here in a relatively recent set).

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