80s movie filmed in the Mission shows what the neighborhood used to look like before all of us hipsters ruined it

All of your nostalgic comments pertaining to the demise of Giant Value seems to have elicited a similar reaction from distinguished reader David, who contacted us with a blast from the past:

All this recent talk of thieves on roofs and yesteryear’s Mission (Value Giant) makes me think of Crackers, that 80s B movie caper flick starring Donald Sutherland and a young Sean Penn and set on 24th and Alabama, right where Discolandia would later come and go.  Recently found the whole movie on YouTube.  Really fun to pick out the shops that are still here (hey Casa Lucas!).

Wow, he’s right!  And look, just down the street is La Palma (only the best place to buy tortillas en todo el mundo)!  If the avocados at Casa Lucas are sometimes 5 for a dollar these days, I wonder how cheap they were in the 80s?  Anyway, let us know what other spots are to be found after you watch the whole thing here:


31 Responses to “80s movie filmed in the Mission shows what the neighborhood used to look like before all of us hipsters ruined it”

  1. RS says:

    The old York (now Brava) and St. Francis in the opening credits at 01:15…

  2. Hazbeen says:

    Look! Parking spaces! I remember what those used to look like!

    • Eliza says:

      Nope – parking was hellacious then as now. The Mission was a double parked car lot, and cars were up on the sidewalk on 20th st (where I lived in ’87-89) I got smart, and sold my car.

      • Eliza says:

        oh – just saw the movie is 1984, and I didn’t get there till ’87, so I don’t know what I am talking about.

  3. scum says:

    And right after this movie the crackers started to move in.

  4. MIke says:

    That’s La Rondalla.

  5. I don't think says:

    you know, sean penn looks kind of like a hipster here.

  6. Katie C says:

    This is probably better than La Mission.

  7. Scantron says:


  8. Schlub says:

    I’d like to thank Andrew for this post! Nice one.

  9. gmorfy says:

    Dominguez Bakery is still there.

  10. gmorfy says:

    And some really large avocados at 3 for $1 at 36:24

  11. anadromy says:

    Michael McDonald ruined the Mission.

  12. Daniel says:

    Hipsters or Software Engineers because there not always the same/economic bracket. And there not all white. Goodbye Rent Control.

  13. Cynthia says:

    House of Color! Lots of murals.

  14. SlobDog says:

    Very cool! What’s the deal with Turtle? Does he have the munchies or just an SF eccentric?

  15. John says:

    I remember very well when they shot this here and all the excitement it brought. Some locals, like the woman at 3:19, got a speaking part. I forgot her name but she was from family that attended St. Peter’s Parish. I remember they created the facade for the Pawn Shop and the crew constantly wetting down the streets. I also recall how disappointed people were when the movie came out–it was a forgettable bore. But man, they had some serious talent there. Nice to see a glimpse of Tito’s Tacos and the York Theater–where I went to see movies every weekend before the VCR did it in.

    • John says:

      Correction. I meant the glimpse of “Paco’s” Tacos on 24th Street and S. Van Ness. Tito’s Tacos is in Culver City, CA–a fine establishment, btw.
      And the women at 3:19 in the market was named Elba – she was quite an active community member at the time.

  16. busted says:

    Your reader David should admit that he got his idea from my instagram account. I was posting pictures of this movie a couple nights before this post went up.

    • Killington Vermont says:

      I read an article about this film in the North Mission News in 1992 when you were still having it mailed to Lansing, Michagan so you could scour it for information that you might be able to use when you grew up, moved to SF, and selfpublished retro scraps on a yet unforeseen digital platform.

  17. raven says:

    inform ignoramous that”crackers”lived here BEFORE…BEFORE..most of the “non whites”(since were crackers..you must be talking about wetbacks).started coming in ..mission was an irish/italian enclave..probably hasnt even been here long enough to remember the 26th.st projects/also american indians populated a portion of 16 th. st(and sixth st.as well)

  18. Alicia says:

    La Rondella!!