The Last Black Man in San Francisco is one of many movies filmed in the Mission. Map by Will Jarrett

When comparing San Francisco to its brash cousin to the south, Los Angeles, the latter tends to win in terms of movie history. Grease, Thelma and Louise, La La Land — all these and a thousand more were created in L.A.

But it turns out that San Francisco has an impressive movie pedigree of its own. The San Francisco Film Commission maintains a database of locations used in movies throughout the city, and it includes thousands of entries dating back over 100 years. 

The oldest movie on the Film Commission’s list is Charlie Chaplin’s “A Jitney Elopement,” released in 1915. Scenes were filmed in Golden Gate Park and in the Mission, near 20th and Folsom streets. The list goes right up to the as-yet-unreleased “The Matrix Resurrections,” which filmed several scenes downtown and in Chinatown.

We used a process called geocoding to take the Film Commission’s locations and turn them into coordinates. We then plotted those coordinates on an interactive map. Zoom in to find out which movies were filmed in your neighborhood, or use the text box to filter by title.

Please note: Geocoding is an imprecise science. In the same way that you could type a location into Google Maps and have the wrong location come up, incorrect coordinates may have been generated for a small minority of these movie scenes.

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10 Comments

  1. Missed a lot… 1st one that’s easy is Mrs Doubtfire filmed on Broadway and Steiner

    then a few scenes from Harold and Maude.

  2. Nice work. SFFC’s database is apparently missing the great film “Colma: The Musical”, which has a couple scenes in the neighborhood including at the Marsh. It does include another HP Mendoza film, “Bitter Melon”, though!

    1. There were scenes. Sean Penn, in a recent interview, talked about driving down Divisadero to the Castro for filming “Milk”. I guess the interactive map is still a work in progress.

  3. Ant Man and the Wasp is shown at Laguna between Waller and Market. The pink for should show the location at Laguna and Jackson as the label indicates.

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