Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Thieves' Highway - Colchester Hotel

  Nick accepts Rica's offer to let him use her room so he can catch up on some much-needed sleep.  Below, she takes him to her hotel, the Colchester - a real hotel of that name on the edge of the Produce District at 259 Embarcadero that is no longer there.  See the hotel on this Produce District map.

Then ...  They pass the 263 Club at 263 Embarcadero and arrive at the hotel.

... in the 1920's  ...  Though dating to the 1920's this vintage photo shows the area as it still looked in 1949 when the movie was filmed. It shows where the hotel was, between Jackson and Oregon on the Embarcadero.  Note the billboard on its roof, advertising rooms.  Note too the underpass under construction on the Embarcadero in front of Merchant Street - it opened in 1925 and ran under the Ferry Building Plaza.  The large white building between Washington and Merchant was the Ferry Post Office.


Then ...  Another view, below, of the front of the hotel illuminated for the movie in the best noir tradition.

... and Now,  the hotel site today viewed from the same spot is part of the Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club.  The small building behind the hedge is the tennis clubhouse - it sits approximately where the hotel used to be.


Then ...  This view from one of the hotel windows looks out past the neon sign across the Embarcadero to Pier 5.  A diesel engine of the State Belt Railroad is parked in front of the Wellman Peck building across Jackson Street.

... a vintage photo ...  a very early undated photo shows the hotel, in the lower left corner with its rooftop 'ROOMS' billboard, with railcars in front of the Wellman Peck building.

... and Now,  the same view today from the tennis clubhouse towards Pier 5.


  The Colchester Hotel was condemned by the city in 1954 and subsequently demolished because of structural cracks in its exterior brick walls (see the press newscopy below and a 1954 photo clearly showing cracks alongside the upper windows).

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