Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Cab ride
Then … The pod mob continues to chase Matthew and Elizabeth, here passing Beppino’s, a Ristorante and Bar inside the PSA San Francisco Hotel at 1231 Market near 8th Street (map).
… and Now, the hotel is now the Hotel Whitcomb. Beppino’s is long gone; its entrance too, having been closed off with a convincing match to the exterior facade.
Then … We next see them walking on Broadway at Columbus in the North Beach red light district having apparently shaken off their pursuers. The brick arches behind them belong to the Condor Club (map), notorious since the 1960s for being the first club in the nation to feature topless (and later, bottomless) entertainment by their star stripper Carol Doda.
… and Now, the brightly back-lit posters above belonged to the adjacent topless club, Big Al’s. It segued over the years into an adult bookstore then a grocery store and finally a smoke shop before closing down. It has been shuttered for years.
CitySleuth would be remiss not to let us sneak a peek at why Ms. Doda was smirkily dubbed “the new Twin Peaks of San Francisco”. Forty four injections of silicone reportedly boosted her reputation.
Then … A short way along the block they pass the Roaring 20s club then get into a cab parked alongside the Hungry I club (for some reason its sign had been sanitized by masking the word ‘NUDE’).
… and Now, the Hungry I was, and still is, on the corner of Romolo Place, a steep alley that heralds the slopes of Telegraph Hill. (But don’t confuse it with the historic 1950s beat/folk era Hungry I club which used to be located in the basement of the International Hotel two blocks away at 599 Jackson Street). After all these years the Roaring 20s too is still there; it too had a predecessor - Varni’s Roaring 20s at 807 Montgomery Street.
As the cab pulls away take a look at who’s driving, in a cameo role. It’s Don Siegel who was the director of the original 1956 version of this movie. Siegel directed many other movies including the 1971 San Francisco classic Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood.
Then … On their way through a tunnel the cabbie is unusually curious about where they are going. He wants to know why and the simultaneous appearance of a pair of motorcycle cops makes them fear that they are in the hands of pod people.
… and Now, this is the Robert C. Levy, aka Broadway, Tunnel (map), an underground link between Larkin and Powell Streets in the Russian Hill neighborhood. Built in 1952, it has aged well over the years. CitySleuth has driven through this tunnel dozens of times but only occasionally has he seen a pedestrian on the noisy six-block-long walkway on the right.
Then … When the cab stops at a police roadblock they slip out and run off. The overpass in the background has an ‘early freeway’ look which may have been upgraded or demolished today - CitySleuth had a hard time finding it.
… and Now, but reader Notcom (see comments below) identified it as the Essex Street on-ramp leading to eastbound I-80 on Harrison Street (map). The overpass at right crossing Harrison is the Fremont/Folsom exit from westbound I-80. Upgrades have since changed this exit structure significantly. The commercial building at left wasn’t built until 1982, after the movie scene was filmed.