Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Sudden Fear - The Good Life

  A series of vignettes depict Myra and Lester settling down into the social whirl of 1950s San Francisco.

Then ...  First, celebrating the 30th season at the opera.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

... and Now,  the drawing on the brochure cover above is San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, a grand Beaux-Arts building opened in time for the 1932/33 season.  (From 1923 - 1931, the newly-formed opera company had performed at the Civic Auditorium).  Below, the opera house today, at 301 Van Ness Avenue (map).

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

 

Then ...  We are shown a glimpse inside the theater ...

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

   ... but this isn't the War Memorial Opera House - convenient archival footage filmed on stage 28 of the Universal Studios lot in Universal City, California was used instead.  Originally built for the 1925 movie Phantom of the Opera (see below), the theater set has been featured in many movies over the years.  Citysleuth thanks reader Paul Penna for pointing this out.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

... and Now,  the War Memorial Opera House interior is very different.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

 

Then ...  Next up, a day at the races at Tanforan, the racetrack of choice for city high-rollers from 1899 until it burned down in 1964.  It was located on El Camino Real in San Bruno, near the international airport (map).

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

... and Now,  there's no trace of the racetrack, but visitors to the shopping mall that now occupies the site, The Shops At Tanforan, can find a statue there of the famous thoroughbred Seabiscuit.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

 

Then ...  This double exposure shows the newlyweds swept up by the action down the home stretch.  Note the oil derricks in the distance to the left - this wasn't filmed at Tanforan, it looks like Southern California.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

... and Now,  those distant oil derricks appear to be those at Signal Hill, Long Beach, in which case this would be the Los Alamitos race course (map).  Here's a recent photo of it below - the derricks were removed long ago.

 

Then ...  and finally they go dancing at the Cirque Room, a popular dance spot in the Fairmont Hotel (map) ...

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

Then ...  where they party the night away.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

... from the 1950s ...  Here's a postcard photo image taken in the Fairmont's Cirque Room at about that same time. 

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

... and Now,  the Cirque Room is still there but available only for private parties.  This recent photo from such an event captured its art deco bar and original circus-themed murals.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

 

  Lester hears back from his shady lady friend Irene Neves.  She has been working on her lawyer boyfriend and found out -"It took five martinis" - that Myra is about to donate the bulk of her fortune to a charity, news that doesn't sit well with the scheming pair.

Sudden Fear -  The Good Life

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