San Francisco on the Silver Screen

San Francisco has appeared in hundreds of movies and television series, some famous, others obscure, from Eric von Stroheim's 1924 Greed to Dirty Harry to The Matrix Resurrection.

Using film stills and clips, this program demonstrates the Bay Area’s rich cinematic history, from Charlie Chaplin starring in silent films at Essanay Studio in Niles through Philo Farnsworth’s invention of television (remember The Doris Day Show?), sometimes becoming an inadvertent time capsule documenting long-gone sites.

Using film stills and clips, this program demonstrates the Bay Area’s rich cinematic history, from Charlie Chaplin starring in silent films at Essanay Studio in Niles through Philo Farnsworth’s invention of television (remember The Doris Day Show?), sometimes becoming an inadvertent time capsule documenting long-gone sites.

Dirty Harry poster
Poster for the film "Greed"

Among the many familiar (or not-so-familiar scenes) are the Alta Plaza Park steps being chipped in What’s Up, Doc?, the futuristic skyline in Towering Inferno and Bicentennial Man, and the geographically inconsistent chase sequence in Bullitt.

Dirty Harry poster