Look at Life, Vintage Newsreel Visits Bohemian Coffee Bars of London

Special Features Division of the Rank Organisation produced the ongoing newsreel series called Look at Life starting in the late 1950s which depicted scenes from (mostly) British life. Over a span of 10 years, they created over 500 episodes which served as cinema newsreels. This particular Look at Life film, circa 1959, visits the hip bohemian coffee bar scene in London’s SOHO district.

Swedish site, Nostalgoteket, describes a bit of what is shown in the film:

Very cool scene in the 2Is with a rock & roll band playing wildly and the crowd jiving away! A square invades a hipster coffee bar and all the cats give him the evil eye. “The French” is the most bohemian coffee house of the lot—with beatniks discussing planetary movements. Some of the coffee bars shown include: The 2Is, the French, the Macabre, Le Grande, Stockpot, Sam Widges, Melbray, Universal, La Roca, Freight Train, El Toro, Picasso, Las Vegas, Moka Bar, and more.

via swissmiss

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff