After initial premiere, the manager of the Paramount Theater in San Francisco added to the downbeat ending a few shots showing the Golden Gate Bridge being built. Seeing the positive public reaction, MGM decided to have the sequence added to all other prints in release.
Also available in a colorized version
The montage at the conclusion of the film which illustrates the re-building of San Francisco originally included a series of shots of recognizable San Francisco landmarks circa 1936, the year of the film's release; most notably, the Golden Gate Bridge while it was still under construction. The primary support cables had been slung from the towers of the bridge, but its roadway had not been constructed yet. This is very obvious in the one single shot of the Golden Gate Bridge which did not open to traffic until 1937. Only the Oakland Bay Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1936, is seen as fully constructed in two shots at the beginning and end of the montage. Also seen was a shot of Market Street, as it appeared in 1936, with 4 tracks of streetcars, the white front Market Street lines on the inside tracks, and the Muni lines on the outside tracks. Subsequent releases have omitted this original montage ending in favor of a dissolve into a freeze frame of the San Francisco skyline, as it appeared in 1948, the year of the film's first major re-release. The original montage of the rebuilt San Francisco is a special feature in the DVD release as an "Alternate Ending" sequence.