Reel SF

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

San Francisco movie locations from classic films

Vertigo - Palace of Fine Arts

  Scottie and Judy begin dating.  Naturally, he takes her out to Ernie's for a meal (where he first saw Madeleine) and dancing at the Fairmont Hotel.  Both of those scenes were filmed on carefully recreated Paramount Studios sets, but their stroll alongside the Palace of Fine Arts was a location shoot.

Then ...  There was a glimpse of the domed Palace of Fine Arts earlier in the movie when Scottie was tailing Madeleine's Jaguar through the Presidio.

... and Now,  looking north on Presidio Boulevard near West Pacific Avenue (map).  The view is now mostly obscured by trees from here.


Then ...  A retreating camera dolly tracks them as they walk alongside the Palace - Judy is looking over to it off to the right.

... and Now,  this looks south along Baker Street from near Beach Street (map).  On the horizon Baker Street crests at Broadway in Pacific Heights.


Then ...  They pause a moment and admire the majestic edifice across its peaceful lagoon.  The Palace of Fine Arts is the only survivor, on its original site, of ten grand palaces constructed for the city's 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.  For many years it housed art exhibitions but today is the home of the Palace of Fine Arts Theater and, since 1969 until its 2013 move to Piers 15 and 17, the popular Exploratorium museum.

... and Now,  the Palace looks unchanged, but back in 1964 in response to structural concerns it was demolished down to its skeletal steel supports and rebuilt with lightweight concrete materials.  They did a fine job.


... on location ...  this informal photo caught Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart taking a break on the camera dolly used for the tracking shot shown above.

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