Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers -  "They're Coming!  They're Coming!"

Then ...  Elizabeth is scared. She shares her fears with Matthew as they drive around the city.  Her fragile psyche is augmented by the fragmentation of his shattered windscreen, damaged earlier in the movie.

... and Now,  they are heading west on Turk Street as viewed from Leavenworth in the Tenderloin district (map).  Approaching on the left is the tall arched entrance of the Oasis Apartments at 351 Turk, built in 1928 and formerly a YMCA hotel.


Then ...  She tells him that her partner Geoffrey has become a different person, furtively meeting with total strangers.  She is convinced everyone around her has changed overnight.

... and Now,  still in the Tenderloin, they are traveling east on Golden Gate Avenue; Market Street is ahead (map).  The Golden Gate Theatre marquee is on the left; the theatre was being renovated when this photo was taken.


Then ...  Matthew, disbelieving but wanting to help, suggests she talk with a psychiatrist friend of his.

... and Now,  still heading east on Golden Gate, they have backtracked four blocks, crossing Larkin (map).  Driving continuity in movies is rarely accurate.  The corner store on the left is now selling croissants instead of peddling loans.


Then ...  With a start Matthew jumps on his brakes as a man suddenly appears in front of them.

... and Now,  this is the junction of Leavenworth and Eddy Streets.  The upscale Black Cat Jazz Supper Club, a recent addition to the Tenderloin, currently occupies the northwest corner site on the left (map).

    The terrified man screams out at them ... "They're coming!  They're coming!  You're next!  You're next!".  For this cameo, director Kaufman, in a nod of appreciation, chose Kevin McCarthy, who played the lead role in the original 1956 black-and-white version of this movie. 

    Here he is screaming the same warning 22 years earlier.


Then ...  The man rushes down Eddy ahead of a crowd of pursuers.

... and Now,  Another new addition, the Tenderloin Museum, is on the northeast corner (opposite the Back Cat) where the Ringside Smoke Shop used to be.


Then ...  A squeal of brakes, a thudding crash; just around the corner they see a body lying at the kerb ringed by a crowd in front of the Hamlin Hotel.

... and Now,  This view looks east down Eddy with Market Street in the distance.  The Hamlin is still there on the right, at 385 Eddy where a metal balcony over the entrance has since replaced the two masonry ones seen in the movie shot.  Still there is the cleaners store further down the block.


   The messenger lies dead, to the impassive satisfaction of his pursuers.  If you won't join them ...


Where are these locations?

    CitySleuth found and posted most of the locations in the 1950 movie The Man Who Cheated Himself but has drawn a blank on three of them.  This is your chance to be a location sleuth - does anyone amongst you, dear readers, recognize them?  If so, please contact

    Often it turns out that hard-to-find San Francisco locations have been filmed elsewhere, usually Los Angeles.  Or in a studio back lot.  So bear that in mind!


    The door number says 2370, but this may be fictitious (IT WASN'T).  The style of house isn't typical San Francisco (SURE ENOUGH!) and CitySleuth has seen a reference to Los Feliz being used for a filming location for this movie (THAT'S WHERE IT TURNS OUT TO BE!).  The street lamp looks very similar to those still found in Los Feliz.  Could this have been there? (YEP!).

Then ...  in the movie ...

... and Now,   CitySleuth spent an afternoon on Google Street View checking out all of the homes in Los Feliz with house # 2370 and bingo, there it was.  Supposedly in San Francisco but filmed at 2370 N. Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz, Los Angeles (map).  The flimsy balcony supports flanking the front entrance are still there as too is the old street lamp.  A low wall has since been added in front of the house.


These next two locations are still to be found ...

2.  Andy's Place

    It's unusual to see an entrance with a drawbridge but this place, on a steeply sloped street, has one.


3.  Ed's place

    This building has similar brickwork to Andy's place but that could be coincidental.

Play It Again, Sam - Art Gallery

Then ...  The search continues for a new girlfriend for Allan ... Linda thinks an art gallery might be a good place.  They visit the West Gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Art, (renamed the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art three years later), which at that time was on the fourth floor of the War Memorial Veteran's Building in the Civic Center (map).

... and Now,  the museum has since moved to grander, dedicated quarters; this space is currently occupied by San Francisco Opera's Costume Studio.  The wall at left has been opened up and the tall opening to the next gallery at right on the back wall has been partially filled in.


    Linda spots a potential candidate standing at the end of the gallery in front of a Jackson Pollock - she urges Allan to go over and ask her out.


Then ...  He asks what she thinks of the Pollock whereupon she delivers a rambling esoteric monolog.  Unphased, he delivers the funniest line in the movie ...

"What are you doing Saturday?"

"Committing suicide".

"What about Friday night?"

... and Now,  more wall changes are visible in today's matching view.


... a vintage photo ...  here's a 1958 photo of the West Gallery taken from the same spot as the shot above.  The museum was housed in this and other galleries on the 4th floor of the Veteran's Building from 1935 to 1994 after which it moved to its current home, the Mario Botta designed Museum of Modern Art, on 3rd Street in SoMa.


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 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.


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