Lost Landscapes of San Francisco audience-participation archival film showing this Friday in SF

Master archivist Rick Prelinger sez,
For the past two years I've been putting together obscure/unknown/lost archival film clips showing the many vanished San Franciscos. This year I'm collaborating with the Long Now Foundation to present the third (and, I think, the best) iteration of Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, as one of their Seminars on Long-Term Thinking.

I've been busy throughout 2008 collecting and transferring new clips. We'll join two women hitchhikers and a dog as they cross a spanking new Bay Bridge in 1938; tour the wonderful Kodachrome world of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition; witness the V-J Day riots and looting on Market Street; see a bit of the newly-restored "A Trip Down Market Street," a 1905 film many San Franciscans think they've seen but really haven't, as most other copies are in terrible condition; take a cable car ride to nowhere in a drab early-morning 1960s SF; and much much more.

Unlike most other film screenings, this one relies on audience members for a soundtrack. We'll encourage everyone to shout out names and places they recognize and to talk back to the screen -- interactivity the way it used to be.

I'm also going to talk very briefly about what it means to look back at the past and how every historical image will figure in the coming battle over the control of 3D models of the world.

BBers anywhere near SF, come join us for a holiday celebration, and bring your friends, ancestors and offspring!

The event's this Friday at 7PM at the Coswell Theatre, click below for details.

Lost Landscapes of San Francisco (Thanks, Rick!)


  1. The TV detective series “San Francisco Story” in B&W shows many long gone San Francisco sights. The original Hall of Justice being one of them.
    The movie Pal Joey with Sinatra isn’t as good as the play. But in the first scene he goes looking for a job and the location shots were done on Pacific in North Beach. At the time it was home to some of the sleaziest bars and strip joints. They have been replaced by decorator showrooms. I believe the movie may show the arch over the street at Pacific and Columbus that said “International Settlement”.

  2. Roy Trumbull, do you mean “The Streets of San Francisco”? San Francisco Story was just one movie. Let’s not leave out “Bullitt” and “Big Trouble in Little China”.

    My GF is coming to visit from Minnesota in just two days, and we will be attending this showing so I can fully infect her with SF fever.

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