Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Matthew's Office

Then...  Elizabeth and Matthew are both employed by the city's health department.  On her way to work she passes a street busker (Joe Bellan, banjo recorded by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead) and his faithful boxer companion.

... and Now,  this is Polk Street near the Grove Street corner in the Civic Center (map).  The view looks west past City Hall at far right and towards the War Memorial Opera House across Van Ness.  Davies Symphony Hall, there since 1980, is across Grove opposite the Opera House.


Then...  She enters her workplace at 101 Grove Street (map).

... and Now,  except for the ADA wheelchair sign and a handrail replacement the entrance looks exactly the same.


Then ...  She joins Matthew and a colleague in the lab; he is absorbed in scrutinizing a baked potato for contamination.

... and Now,  the rooms that comprise the lab area, on the top (4th) floor,  have been rearranged and refitted significantly since the moviemakers were here.  This is the most likely one used for this scene.


Then ...  They leave the lab, then and now called the Microbiology Laboratory, and head past room 412 towards his office.

... and Now,    today's safety-conscious era dictates an abundance of warning signs.


Then ...  Window views enabled CitySleuth to home in on Matthew's office.

... and Now,  the same office today has been divided into cubicles.  This is room 410 on the top floor of the building - the view looks across Grove Street to the south side of City hall.

    The office window is indicated here, overlooking Grove Street.


Then ...  Several of the Grove Street offices have a similar view.  How did CitySleuth decide that this was room 410?  Another movie view looking from the office down to the street corner at Polk and Grove was the clincher...

... and Now,  from room 410 today note the position of the lamppost relative to a statue pedestal beyond it.  Only this room's view has that matching alignment.


Then ...  In this shot the dome of City Hall dominates...

... and Now,  just as it does today.


   This is strange ... from outside Matthew's office we see a man peering intently through the glass at them.


Then ...  And as Elizabeth walks back to the lab, two more people are staring at her.  What is going on?

... and Now,  in this view of the top floor corridor we expect the marbled walls to be unchanged but we also note from the patterns that the floor tiles are the same ones as 40 years ago, in excellent condition.  Now that's impressive.


Play It Again, Sam - Allan's Apartment, Interior

    A previous post identified Allan's apartment as 15 Fresno Street in North Beach.  Here he is outside the front door with his best friend Dick.

Then ...  Later in the movie Dick and his wife Linda (Diane Keaton) visit Allan; she is seen here just inside his front entrance.  But the apartment's interior scenes were filmed elsewhere.  (Note the continuity goof - the front door's letter box is at a different height).

... and Now,  this is 1212 Lombard Street in Russian Hill, a block from the city's famous Crooked Street (map).  It's the first floor flat of a luxury two flat property, addressed 1210 and 1212 Lombard, that fortunately for CitySleuth was on the market (asking price $5.8M) when he visited, allowing him to take photos during an open house.  1212 has a different front door now.


Then ...   To say that Allan is down on himself after his rejection/divorce is an understatement.  Dick and Linda try to help by lining up a series of blind dates for him.  This view across the North Bay from the living room captures the incongruously bulky Fontana Towers condominiums whose construction in 1962 on the site of an old pasta factory spawned a successful campaign by concerned neighbors for a 40 foot height limit for future projects near the waterfront.  A dollar short and a day late.

... and Now, here are those same towers today.  On the left side of the balcony a mirrored wall now extends out a few feet and the railing has been replaced to meet evolving safety standards.


Then ...   The imminent arrival of the first date, Sharon, prompts him to douse himself in deodorant; for good measure he adds baby powder and after-shave.

... and Now, the bathroom has since been remodeled; a shower has replaced the tiny corner sink.


    As he gets ready in the bedroom his imagination conjures an appearance by his hero Humphrey Bogart for some sage advise on how to handle women.  But first Bogie chastises him ... "For Christ's sake kid, you're gonna smell like a French cat-house ... it's her job to smell nice for you".


Then ...  Bogie stresses the importance of not being nervous.  "And whatever you do don't tell her you don't drink, she'll think you're a boy scout".  

... and Now, the bedroom is accessed via the door to the side of the entrance seen in the first Then and Now photos in this post.  The bathroom door in the corner, in an unusual traffic pattern, links through its shower, making a right turn into the bathroom shown above.  Note too the modified fireplace.


Then ...  His apartment is a jumbled mess with movie lobby cards and half sheet and one sheet posters  plastered all over the walls. After all, he is a movie nut.  He charges around in a tizzy clearing up right before she arrives.

... and Now, in this view looking away from the living room's picture windows towards the front door at the far end we see that the fireplace on the left is unchanged but over on the right a staircase leading to the lower level has since been added.  The closed door right of center leads into the bathroom.


    Sharon (Jennifer Salt) is gobsmacked and Dick and Linda shrink in embarrassment as Allan makes a fool of himself trying to come across as irresistibly macho.


Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Rat Turd Caper

Then ...  Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland), a field investigator for the City's health department, conducts a surprise visit at a swanky french restaurant.  The staff stiffen in anticipation as he walks in. 

... and Now,  it was reader Larry Nussbaum  who pointed CitySleuth to this location, identifying it as the kitchen at Bimbo's 365 Club at 1025 Columbus Avenue in North Beach (map).  It's amazing how little this kitchen has changed over the last 40 years.  Even down to the hanging pots.


Then ...  Matthew, on a mission, marches in with the owner in tow.

... and Now,  the same corner today, with all of the equipment still intact and operational.  The opening shot in this post was filmed from the doorway at right.


    He is thorough ... he finds a rat turd in a pan of soup.  When the affronted owner (Jerry Walter) insists it's a caper ("ca-perr") Matthew smirkingly suggests he eat it.   When he baulks, he is told a health violation notice will be filed.  (Sadly, actor Jerry Walter died of a heart attack a few weeks after this movie was released, at age 53).


Then ...  When he leaves, Matthew discovers that disgruntled staff have smashed his windscreen, with a wine bottle, no less.

... and Now,  this was filmed at the rear of Bimbo's.  The private property sign, updated, is still there; so too is the horse hitching post.


Then ...  He drives out along the narrow cul-de-sac, Houston Street, that runs alongside the north edge of the club past its side entrance.  A large billboard and a 7up sign is seen across Columbus Avenue at the alley's end.

... and Now,  there's still an awning over the side entrance and the overhead lights seen above are still there.  So too is the billboard across Columbus and a (repositioned) 7up sign.


Play It Again, Sam - Allan's Apartment, Exterior

Then ...  Allan's place is in an alley just off of one of the City's steepest streets, so steep in fact that it has steps in place of sidewalks.  Viewed from the alley, he is seen here crossing the street.  The green corner building at the bottom of the hill is Vanessi's restaurant.  

... and Now,  This is the Kearny Street block (also seen earlier in the movie) between Vallejo and Broadway, in the North Beach neighborhood.  (Its steps have been named the Peter Macchiarini Steps, in honor of a local artist).  Vanessi's is no longer there, having closed down, as has the equally iconic Italian eatery Enrico's that used to be opposite, on the corner across Kearny.

... related trivia ...  In 1968 Steve McQueen in the movie Bullit crossed over Broadway heading to Enrico's.  The steep block seen above slopes up at far right.


Then ...  Allan's closest friend, Dick (Tony Roberts), was waiting for him.  They walk along the alley towards his apartment.

... and Now,  this is Fresno Street and  Allan's place is number 15, the red door on the right (map).


Then ...  They chat outside 15 Fresno Street.  But interestingly, when later on we go into his apartment we will find that the interiors were filmed not here, but elsewhere in town.

... and Now,  it's the same door today as evidenced by the molding detail and the mailbox, but repainted.


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