This Rare Footage In The 1950s Shows San Francisco Like You’ve Never Seen Before

A decade or so before San Francisco saw an influx of young hippies with flowers in their hair, it was a somewhat quieter city, though one still bustling with revolutionary art, poetry, and jazz. This was the age of the Beats, after all. Fortunately, through film, we can get a sense of what it felt like for people like Jack Kerouac to walk the streets of San Francisco during this time. This particular video was captured by filmmaker Tullio Pellgrini in 1955, back when the Bay Bridge was the longest bridge in the world. It shows many familiar landmarks that haven’t changed too much, as well as some very cool spots we wish were still around, like the Playland amusement park and Sky Tram that offered rides over Sutro Baths.

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/

So, what do you think of this footage of San Francisco in the 1950s? Has it changed much since 1955?