Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Thieves' Highway - Shorty's Bar

  Nick insists on taking a reluctant Rica out for a drink at Shorty's Bar, seen below.  CitySleuth searched 1949 City records but found no mention of a Shorty's so presumably it was a fictitious movie name.  The shop front below is certainly real enough -  the question is ... where was it?

  Two views from the interior of the bar help provide the answer.  The first shows an Embarcadero pier across the street, Pier 44.  (It's possible the interiors were filmed in the studio with projected window views to set the location).

  In the second view, seen through the entrance doorway to Shorty's, another pier, Pier 42, is seen across the Embarcadero looking in the opposite direction.  So, Shorty's was on the Embarcadero opposite and between Piers 42 and 44.  Both piers were terminals for American President Lines.

  How does CitySleuth know these were Piers 42 and 44?  They are not there any more, but compare the shots above with the vintage photo below of these two piers (which incidentally shows the Bay Bridge under construction in 1935).  They match.


Then ...  In this movie pan below, the view looks south down the Embarcadero as Nick and Rica cross the rail tracks heading for Shorty's.  (This panorama links with the one at the top of this post).  Pier 44 is on the left and the Embarcadero continues past Berry Street before ending at Pier 46.

... and Now,  Pier 42, 44 and 46 are no longer there; they were replaced by the South Beach Marina.  Instead of continuing straight on past King and Berry Streets as it used to, the Embarcadero now swings to the right into King Street alongside the San Francisco Giants ballpark.  The marina is on the left, as is South Beach Park which replaced the block where Shorty's Bar used to be, between King and Berry Streets.


  If all of this is confusing, the photo and map below may help ...

Then ...  this 1955 aerial photo shows piers 42 and 44 before they were removed.  Shorty's bar location was in the block opposite those two piers, between King Street and Berry Street.  Note also that back then Berry Sreet connected to the Embarcadero.

... and Now,  The same view today courtesy of Google maps showing that the Embarcadero now swings into King Street.  A section of Berry Street has been swallowed up by South Beach Park and the ballpark redevelopment project, completed in 2000.  The locations where Piers 42 and 44 used to be are shown in orange and the approximate location for Shorty's bar is indicated by the asterisk, within South Beach Park.

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