Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Petulia - Roller Derby

    Archie and ex wife Polo (Shirley Knight) take their two boys to the roller derby, a uniquely American contact sport which was at the height of its popularity in the 1960s.


    During the action director Richard Lester uses a flashback to juxtapose the staged violence, so much a part of the sport, with the real violence visited upon Petulia.


Then ...  The competing teams are the San Francisco Bay Bombers (in orange) and the New York Chiefs.


... and Now,  the sport isn't as big as it was but roller derby rolls on.  CitySleuth took the photo below at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco -  by happenstance featuring the same two teams.  The Bombers are in the white and orange strip.  But the movie scene was filmed somewhere else and it took CitySleuth a while to find out where.


Then ...  In the movie there's a closeup of (below, L to R) Bob Dancel, Pete Boyd and Eddie Krebs.  CitySleuth tracked Eddie down and confirmed that the filming took place at Winterland, on the corner of Post and Steiner streets (map).  One of Eddie's favorite recollections of that day was hanging out after a long day of filming with George C. Scott in a nearby bar - "George suggested it and I just threw my jacket on over my uniform", he said.

... in 1941 ...  Winterland was torn down in 1985 but here's an early photo taken there when it was an ice skating rink (hence its name), with the upper gallery transformed into a winter wonderland.

... in 1950 ...  here it was, below, configured for a boxing tournament

... in the 1970s ...  from 1966 through the 1970s Winterland was best known for the legendary music concerts put on there by promoter Bill Graham.  This photo shows a concert setup in progress.


    Take a look at the Winterland concert schedule during the winter of 1968 when the roller derby scene was shot - an amazing array of the hottest bands around.  Oh, to be a time traveler! (Actually, CitySleuth was there then).


... before demolition ...  Winterland's final concert featured the Grateful Dead, the Blues Brothers and New Riders Of The Purple Sage on New Year's Eve, 1978.  The arena is shown below forlornly awaiting the wrecker's ball in 1985.  On the right is St. Dominic's Catholic Church two blocks along Steiner on Bush Street.

... during demolition ...   taken just after the familiar red 'Winterland' sign that adorned the corner of the building had been lowered to the ground.

... and Now,  an apartment complex covering the entire block in both directions sits on the site today.

Click in this box to search this site ...