280 Orange Alley, San Francisco
Peeping through a small eyehole in a back alley, in downtown San Francisco, might not usually be the greatest idea, but in this case, the rewards are well-worth the risks! The Peephole Cinema, SF’s cool and cute cultural experience, is nowhere near as dirty as it might sound.
Pluck up the courage to take a peek through this literal hole-in-the-wall, and you’ll find a miniature cinema playing a constant loop of classic silent films. The selection of animated shorts and wonderful silent movies run on a loop all day and night, so whenever you wind up in this part of town there’s something to catch.
The cinema is legitimately hard to find and easily missed even once you are there. A small sign hangs down from the red wall, and beneath the peephole, there’s a list of the films of the day. As a result, its most dedicated patrons tend to stumble across this little gem purely by chance.
The cinema is a labor of love from animator Laurie O’Brien, who originally wanted to find an innovative, alternative way to showcase her animations. This hidden gem is a curious and charming little slice of San Francisco's weirdness. However, be warned--the alley can be dark at night, so its best visited during daylight hours.