Unearthed footage shows long-missing 1960s San Francisco
If, like most of us, your understanding of life in San Francisco in the 1960s is drawn from popular culture, you probably imagine a bustling city. Civil rights and anti-war protests marching through Town Hall, Jimi Hendrix distorting “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of LSD-fueled crowds in the Panhandle, or maybe a Mustang GT growling through town, chasing crooks.
But if you’ve lived here, you’ll probably remember the most serene everyday scenes of city life, captured in incredible retouched images shared this week.
The video, from the mid-1960s (we couldn’t determine the exact year, let us know if you can) and from the Prelinger Archives – a collection of historical footage highlighting American cultural history , with an emphasis on everyday life – shows the streets with a camera attached to a cable car. It was retouched in high definition magic by YouTuber Nass.
“The restoration is done first by an artificial intelligence algorithm to increase the HD resolution,” Nass told SFGATE, “after a process of stabilization, color correction and cleaning at the end to increase [it to] 60 frames per second.
The footage begins by showing the views from Nob Hill down California Street, towards the bay, then towards Powell Street, where the old red neon Starlite Roof sign can be seen on the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.