Photos: 'When We Rise' Transforms Castro Businesses For Throwback Shoot

This weekend's wet weather didn't deter the cast and crew of the ABC miniseries When We Rise, who returned to the neighborhood to wrap up their San Francisco shoot.

Work for the production could be seen all along Castro Street, with many businesses dressed to appear as they did decades ago. From vintage cars to vintage storefronts, here are some of the highlights from the weekend's filming, captured in photos.



A variety of classic cars lined Castro Street, in order to give the set a period feel.

Photo: Peter Gallotta

The photo above shows Roma Guy (left), LGBT activist and founder of the Women's Building, talking to Mary-Louise Parker, who portrays her in When We Rise.

The shoot on Thursday afternoon at Harvey Milk Plaza highlighted Carole Migden's 1990 campaign for Supervisor in San Francisco. Migden, a lesbian, served on the Board of Supervisors from 1991-1996, and was subsequently elected to the State Senate.

It should be noted that the campaign flyers that say Migden is running for the District 11 Supervisor seat are mistaken. At the time of Migden's campaign, San Francisco did not have district elections; instead, each candidate ran at large. District elections were repealed by voters in 1980, and reinstated after Proposition G passed in 1996.

At 18th and Castro, a long-gone Castro business returned for the weekend. While the original Star Pharmacy was across the street, where Walgreens now stands, Gyro Express was dressed up to appear as the pharmacy circa 1981, when the first notices of the "Gay Cancer" that would ultimately be known as HIV/AIDS were posted.



Across the street, Harvey's was closed for the weekend as the production team returned it to its days as the Elephant WalkIf you happened to be passing by on Saturday evening, you could hear Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" booming through the windows and out on to the streets.

The Elephant Walk was historically important as the site of the police response to the White Night Riots on May 21st, 1979. After the riots at City Hall, cops marched to the Castro and retaliated, breaking the bar's windows and battering over a hundred patrons.


Up the block at the HRC Store, Harvey Milk's Castro Camera, which became his political activism headquarters, was recreated for a scene in which a young Cleve Jones made a phone call from inside a phone booth.

In preparation for filming on Thursday, crew members covered up the rainbow crosswalks, installed in 2014 as part of the Castro Street Improvement Project, with a black material. They started with two of the crosswalks, covering up the other two on Saturday evening.



After production wrapped up on Saturday evening, the black material was removed from the crosswalks—but it didn't all come up. Crew members were at work clearing off as much of the material as possible.

Cleve Jones told us the crosswalks will be steam-cleaned this week, in order to return them to how they looked before the filming.

Jones (far right) watched on Saturday evening as a scene was filmed in the crosswalk at Castro and Market. When We Rise is based on his forthcoming memoir of the same name.

Finally, filming wrapped up Sunday at City Hall, where the 2013 wedding of Guy and her wife Diane (played by Rachel Griffiths) was recreated.

Photos: Alisa Scerrato/Hoodline

Did you participate as an extra or see anything interesting during filming? Let us know in the comments. 

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