Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Filtering by Tag: Cow Hollow

Play It Again, Sam - Elated

Then … Allan relives his tryst as he strolls the streets with a smile on his face: “I was dynamite last night … I gave her my best moves”.

… and Now, filmed at the junction of Vallejo and Buchanan Streets in Cow Hollow (map), the view looks north along Buchanan across the Marina and the bay towards Angel Island and Tiburon. The tall masts provide night-time illumination for the George Moscone Softball Fields.


Then … Next, a couple of sight gags; first a tiny tyke yaps at him as he walks by, startling him into jumping backwards. Perhaps the perceptive pup somehow knew he’d been a naughty boy.

… and Now, this is a block and a half south of the previous shot, in front of 2614 Buchanan between Broadway and Pacific (map), which just happens to be Linda’s house.


Then … And finally nobody notices as Allan nonchalantly slaps an unsuspecting man reading a newspaper, knocking him over the edge of a low wall. The camera’s telescopic lens expands and draws in the distant Bay Bridge.

… and Now, this is the Vallejo Street cul-de-sac above Montgomery Street in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood (map). Despite being 5 blocks from the waterfront there’s an unobstructed view of the Bay Bridge from here … well, absent the trees, that is. (Much as CitySleuth would have liked an unobstructed matching view of the wall it’s nigh on impossible to capture because of residents’ omnipresent parked cars).

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Then … In an antique store Allan shops for a music box, presumably a gift for Linda. He bumps into his ex, Nancy, and when she asks about girlfriends he denies he has one. Guilt is starting to set in. As she leaves the store note the business across the street; its sign is mostly obscured by the door but it ends in ‘GUE’. This is the big clue as to the location.

Union Street in Cow Hollow used to be the go-to place for antique stores and the 1972 city directory lists a men’s clothing store at 1858 Union called Union Rogue (which matches the U…….GUE above). And, there was an antique store directly opposite at 1861 Union called Urban Antiques which must have been where the scene was filmed. In a comment below, reader Ron Morehen describes how he was recruited to walk back and forth outside the store while the shooting took place inside. He confirms it was on Union Street but recalls the name as Seawall Antiques. A later directory lists both Urban Antiques and Seawall Newthings Gifts as being at 1861 Union in 1973 but this was published at least a year after the filming took place. Urban or Seawall, either way the antique store was at 1861 Union Street in Cow Hollow (map).

1972 City Directory

… and Now, this is a photo of the most recent business at 1861 Union, called Eurasian Interiors. But when CitySleuth stopped by for a matching photo he found it stripped bare in the midst of a major interior remodel. The Union Rogue men’s store that was across the street is now Ambiance, a women’s boutique.


Play It Again, Sam - Nymphomaniac

    After Allan strikes out with Sharon, Linda tries again, recommending Jennifer but cautioning him that she's a nymphomaniac.  He is undeterred.

   He approaches a cab, waiting while it disgorges a group of grass-smoking hippies ...


Then ...  but quickly regrets getting in, having to immediately leap out to escape the acrid fumes.

... and Now,  this was filmed on Buchanan Street in Pacific Heights looking south towards Jackson (map).  The bricked building at left is 2518 Buchanan.


    He finally meets Jennifer (Viva) and after spending all evening hearing that all she's interested in is sex, sex and more sex, he makes his move, only to be rebuffed with a shriek.


Then ...  He descends the outside steps totally confused, wondering how he could have misread her.

... and Now,  Jennifer's place is at 2065 Vallejo Street, in Cow Hollow (map), just a couple of blocks from the cab episode location above.  Clearly the occupants here have no need of a fitness club membership.


The Laughing Policeman - Tailing Camerero

Then ... Larsen has been assigned to tail suspect Camerero, beginning at a small gym alongside the bay.

... and Now,  the gym, still there, belongs to the Dolphin Swimming and Boating Club at 502 Jefferson Street at Aquatic Park (map).  On the right, above, the schooner moored at the Hyde Street pier is the Wapama; it has since been dismantled and in its place, below, we now see the square-rigged sailing ship Balclutha.  On the left, there's a small jetty...

    ... here's a view of the gym in a recent photo looking back from that jetty. The Dolphin Club is cheek by jowl with another club, the South End Rowing Club on the left.


Then ... next up, an energetic game of handball.

... and Now,  the court, in the same building, continues to keep club members on their toes.


Then ... Camerero moves on to a hairdressers with a window view that identifies this location... that's Fredericksen's venerable Cow Hollow hardware store across the street.

... and Now,  the same view from inside the store that currently occupies this site.  To the left it has since been expanded into the  store next door.

    The store is currently the Simply Chic boutique at 3038 Fillmore (map) but back then it was a men's hairstylist called Forum II.

   Fredericksen's has been serving the Cow Hollow neighborhood at 3029 Fillmore since 1896.  In this recent photo the part of the store visible through the hair stylists' window in the Then image above is outlined in yellow.


Then ... The surveillance continues in a parking garage as the suspect walks to his car.

... and Now,  this was filmed on level A of the underground garage of One Embarcadero Center in the Financial District.


Then ... But when Camerero exits the garage, this isn't One Embarcadero Center...

... and Now,  instead, it's the Clay Street exit of the Golden Gateway Garage across the street from One Embarcadero Center (map), viewed from a pedestrian bridge spanning the road.


Then ...  Jake follows him to a narrow street and watches him pull up outside a club where an awning marks a discreet entrance.

... and Now,  this is Ritch Street, an alley in the SoMa South Beach neighborhood close to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants (map).


Then ...  As Camerero enters the club the awning displays the address - 330 Ritch Street.  This was the Ritch Street Health Club, one of the many bath houses that catered in the pre-Aids era to the gay men's community before they were all shut down by the City in the interest of public health.

... and Now,  that same doorway has since been re-addressed as 360 Ritch Street.  Comparing the Then and Now images you can see the identical outline of the bricked-in former windows next to the doorway.  Today retail and commercial businesses occupy the building including the Little Skillet whose Southern Comfort food serves an eager lunch crowd daily from the shuttered window on the left.


  Here's a vintage poster advertising the club that left no room for the imagination as to the activities inside.


Then ...  Inside the club entrance a stairway draped with a colorful tapestry leads up to their "exciting psychedelic 3rd floor".

... and Now,  a storage closet has been built under the stairway at left and plain white walls make for a more appropriate approach to the offices above.


Then ...  Another day but still tailing.  Larsen tries his best to look inconspicuous when Camerero walks right by him after exiting the narrow alley flanked by the pair of concrete bollards.  Note the vertical sign - 'Poster Alley'. 

... and Now,  this is Union Street in Cow Hollow - Larsen was sitting at the steps of 1960 Union Street (map) in the center of the seven-block stretch that back then was a much-touted tourist shopping favorite.  Poster Alley ran alongside the Artisans poster and framing store at 1964 Union, there since the early 1950s.  Customers could view posters and prints hanging in the alley and buy them in the store.

    Artisans is still in business but recently moved to the Sunset district.  In a sign of transition the photo below taken in January 2016 pictures the empty store up for lease.  The bollards are still there on either side of the garage door that now blocks access to the old Poster Alley.


The Conversation - 10-28

Then ...  After a long day at the surveillance convention, Caul and buddies decide to party at his workshop - they pile into a car inside the St. Francis Hotel's parking garage entrance on Geary Street (map).

... and Now,  there are mirrors on some of the pillars and the fire extinguisher recessed into one of them has been removed otherwise 40 years on it looks very similar.


Then ...  They are crossing Fillmore Street heading west on Lombard in the Cow Hollow neighborhood (map) when a yellow Mustang suddenly cuts in front of them and roars off.

... and Now,  at the same junction.  Peter's Auto Radio store on the corner of Fillmore at far right above is now a children's toy store.  The Arco Car Wash and service station visible above down the block was replaced in 1978 by the Cow Hollow Motor Inn, hidden from here by the trees.


    Caul's surveillance partner Paul (Michael Higgins) is the driver.  But that's a moonlighting job - he's also a cop and, determined to give the exhibitionist driver a run for his money, he takes off after him.  The filming of the chase that ensued jumped back and forth along the five block stretch of Lombard between Webster and Divisadero.


Then ...  The two cars, tires screaming, next make a hard right from Lombard into Pierce.  Across the street at far right there's a chain restaurant, the International House of Pancakes.

... and Now,  the restaurant is still there, rebranded as IHOP (International House of Pancakes ... get it?).  So too is the Surf Motel, but Irv's Union service station seen above on the corner is now gone, replaced in 2007 by the condo/retail building below.


Then ...  In the next shot they are on Webster, turning at high speed back onto Lombard, this time heading east.  Paul is driving his official car and he decides to have some fun - he calls headquarters and requests a '10-28' (vehicle registration details) on the Mustang.

... and Now,  for the most part time has stood still on this corner except for changes with the traffic lights.


Then ...  During the 10-28 call Paul tells headquarters he's heading east on Lombard but even as he speaks we see they now heading west; they have just crossed Scott.

... and Now,  the Sands Motel at 2440 Lombard today is a Super-8 motel and further along the Bank of America branch at 2460 Lombard became, until it recently closed, a Blockbuster Video store.


    When the Mustang pulls up at a stop sign we recognize it as the 1970 Boss 302 model with its unique hockey--stick side stripes that cross over the hood.  Paul stops alongside it and shouts across to the startled driver ...

" Heyyy ... Willie Sanchez ... 654 14th Street ... 162 pounds ... 5 foot 10 1/2 ... Shithead! "


Then ...  Now it's Paul's turn to roar off leaving the Mustang driver wondering what on earth just happened.  The cars had stopped at Lombard alongside the Doggie Diner restaurant at 2099 Lombard Street at Fillmore  This view looks south past the Mustang along Fillmore Street to its steep climb up to Pacific Heights. 

... and Now,  another Motor Inn, the Chelsea, now occupies the southeast corner site where the Doggie Diner used to be.  The tall building at the top of the hill is the prestigious 2288 Broadway co-op apartments.

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    Back at Caul's workshop Bernie declares ... "The bar is now open!".


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