The People of the Tenderloin on the Big Screen

Event has passed (Thu Dec 14, 2017 - Thu Dec 14, 2017)
Tenderloin Museum
Film / Television, Museums


This double feature pairs two rarely seen films shot on location and populated by denizens of the TL!

Street Music (1981) is a story of young love between a charismatic busker and her tour-bus-driving boyfriend. Their romance is intertwined with the fate of their home, the fictitious Victory Hotel, whose pensioner residents (played by locals) are warding off eviction. Inspired by the plight of the International Hotel, Street Music grapples with issues that strongly resonate today through a vibrant '80s aesthetic.

Tenderloin Blues (1987) portrays the same era through a cinéma vérité-style documentary that chronicles the lives of people who live on the streets of the neighborhood. An impressionistic series of video portraits, Tenderloin Blues evokes an immediate, human perspective on the predicaments of homelessness, poverty, and displacement that persist today.

This program is part of the current special exhibition, Voice of the Central City: The Tenderloin Times, 1977-94, an immersive look into Tenderloin’s past as seen through two decades of reporting by the trailblazing neighborhood newspaper.Created in collaboration with community historian Sara Colm, this exhibition will showcase extremely rare archival images, articles, and political cartoons documenting our vibrant community during the pivotal years of 1977-1994. On view until March, 2018.


  1. Tenderloin Museum 398 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA