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Lost Landscapes of San Francisco

Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents San Francisco like you've never seen it before.


San Francisco After the 1906 Earthquake

Archivist and filmmaker Rick Prelinger shows archival footage of downtown San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake and resulting fire.

Build a Dream for Tomorrow! BART in 1960s San Francisco

Archivist Rick Prelinger, founder of the Prelinger Library, shows a clip from 'Along the Way,' a 1968 promotional video for San Francisco's BART system.

San Francisco's Prohibition Era 'Hipsters'

Guerrilla archivist Rick Prelinger shares homemade films featuring a droll group of prohibition era "hipsters" that drank their way through the Bay Area in the 1930s. Taking turns behind the camera, they document their time spent drinking in Golden Gate Park.

The Golden Gate Bridge: Vintage Footage from the Archive

Rick Prelinger, head of the Prelinger Archive, presents vintage footage of San Francisco’s world-famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Leaving Candlestick Park

Filmmaker and archivist Rick Prelinger shows a film from the 1960s of San Francisco Giant fans leaving candlestick park. 

GOP, Circa 1956: When Nixon Was Welcome in San Francisco

Archivist Rick Prelinger,  founder of the Prelinger Library, shows A home-movie taken during the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

Crossing San Francisco Bay: A Bridge Is Born

Archivist Rick Prelinger shows found film footage of San Francisco's Bay Bridge from various periods during its construction and shortly after its completion.

Footage includes a trip across the bridge on the rail line that was originally operated on the lower deck.

The Tradition of the Wright Brothers: The Sunset Gliders

Found footage showcases the flight of the Wright Brothers' original plane design over the undeveloped Sunset District in San Francisco.

Remembering San Francisco’s Playland-at-the-Beach

Archivist Rick Prelinger presents his tribute to San Francisco's Playland, the seaside amusement park located next to Ocean Beach that existed from 1913 to 1972. In 1972, the roller coaster rides were put on auction, Playland was discontinued and soon condominiums filled the waterfront vista.

Rick Prelinger Archives 1934 San Francisco General Strike

Rick Prelinger exhibits old films taken during the San Francisco General Strike in 1934, including a newsreel with interviews and footage of riots in the street.

Rick Prelinger on Archiving and Geotagging Media

Archivist and filmmaker Rick Prelinger discusses the unforeseen value in archiving film, images, and other media.

He believes archival media may help predict and shape the future, though he also highlights the unintended consequences of technologies like Google Street View.

About this series

In Rick Prelinger's annual screening of the Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, presented by the Long Now Foundation, you'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and studio filmmakers. His newest film, #8, has just been released. Unfortunately, at least to, his first two films (#1 and #2) have been ... lost.

About The Long Now Foundation

The Long Now Foundation was established in 1996 to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today's accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

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