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Inside the "Maltese Falcon" with Don Heron

“The Tenderloin would probably be considered the hardest of all the hard-boiled eggs in San Francisco.” - Bar owner Brian Sheehy via The New York Times

Through many different incarnations, the Tenderloin has been a vice area for decades. In the 1920’s the neighborhood was notorious for its gambling, billiard halls, boxing gyms, speakeasies, theaters, and other nightlife. This Tenderloin era is captured brilliantly in the hard boiled detective fiction of Dashiell Hammett. Hammett lived and wrote many of his now famous books at 891 Post Street, and even gave his character Sam Spade a similar address in The Maltese Falcon. Join us for as we delve into one of the most important and interesting works of fiction to depict the Tenderloin.

Hammett lived in San Francisco from summer 1921 till fall 1929; The majority of his ground-breaking hard-boiled detective fiction was written in this neighborhood. The most famous of his works from those San Francisco years is the novel The Maltese Falcon, now considered a classic of American literature, immortalized by the iconic 1941 film directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart as the Private Eye Sam Spade. The movie is thought of as the first true film noir. 

On October 27th, join local Hammett expert Don Herron for a discussion of The Maltese Falcon and it’s importance to the neighborhood, and stay for a screening of The Maltese Falcon immediately following. Enjoy complimentary beer, wine, and tasty snacks thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Zendesk and Zoosk.


Described by The New York Times as one of Hammett’s “pre-eminent appreciators” in the article San Francisco Noir (, Herron has been leading The Dashiell Hammett tour since 1977--- that's 38 years on the mean streets. Four editions of his Dashiell Hammett Tour book have seen print, and City Lights released two editions of the guidebook The Literary World of San Francisco. He knows his local literary history, and his walk is by far the longest-lived that covers The Tenderloin.

Reception at 6:30pm, Programming at 7pm
$10 includes lecture & screening, with complimentary beer, wine, and tasty treats

Temporal Cities:
During this event we'll be hosting Temporal Cities, an oral history project created by Tenderloin artists Lizzy Brooks and Radka Pulliam. Using analog slide projection and interactive story telling, Temporal Cities examines the experience of living in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood through the stories of its residents. More on Temporal Cities here:

Later Event: November 5
Opening Reception: CoolTry