The Beach (1995)


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The Beach, is that rare item, a true-to-life history of the San Francisco bohemian scene as particular people made it—truer because some of them, the more localized, still do make it, and “Oh yeah,” as one says rightly, “Ginsberg and Kerouac were around and about, too…
— Bill Berkson, poet, art critic and Director of Letters & Science at the San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco's North Beach in the 50's - A mix of jazz, poetry and art - The Beach recreates the atmosphere that prevailed through first-hand accounts from the actual "players" along with photographs and artwork from that vibrant time.

In the 50s there were many innovative and talented artists in San Francisco but few places to exhibit work.  Bars in North Beach like Vesuvio and "The Place" were often the only places they could show.  So much creative activity was going on in the area that soon other spaces dedicated to showing this unusual art opened.  North Beach became the place to be if you wanted to be part of the milieu.  It began to change in the early 60s and today North Beach is a very different place.  Yet, it still retains an Italian flavor and remnants from its spirited past.

Running time - 57 minutes.


Jane Belson and Hubert Leslie

Jane Belson and Hubert Leslie

The Participants

The Beach aired several times on local PBS and Bay TV during the late 90s.  The University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning (Berkeley) distributed this to educational institutions throughout the world.  They closed the Center in July of 2005.  The Beach is in the collections of many universities and libraries throughout the country including the San Francisco Library History Room, the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian and the Beat Museum in San Francisco.


photographs by Gui (de Angulo) Mayo 

Coffee Gallery 

Coffee Gallery