If you’ve seen the classic comedy Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monore and Tony Curtis or the wild comedy action thriller The Stunt Man starring Peter O’Toole and Barbara Hershey, then you’ve stayed as a guest at the luxurious Hotel del Coronado – at least virtually through movie magic. This humongous hotel resort in Coronado, California just across the San Diego Bay from San Diego, California is one of the last examples of American Victorian wooden beach resorts. It opened in 1888 and was one of the first to have electrical lighting. Despite its age, it’s in no danger of being closed anytime soon, since it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
Over the years, the hotel has been the beachfront playground to the rich and famous from all over the globe. Among its more celebrated uses has been its portrayal as backdrop or location in movies and books. Wizard Of Oz author L.Frank Baum wrote much of his classic children’s tale at del Coronado and even based the overall look of The Emerald City on the hotel’s architecture. Here are just a few popular examples of Hotel del Coronado’s enduring cinematic fame.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
This cross dressing comedy written and directed by the great Billy Wilder and starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe remains as much a fixture of American movies as the Hotel del Coronado is as a beach resort. During the comic romp, Curtis and Lemmon must evade gangsters by dressing up to pass for female band members who are playing at the hotel. Great exterior scenes of the del Coronado’s awesome facade is on display here as well as shots of the hotel’s lavish inside.
The Stuntman (1980)
Directed by Richard Rush and starring Peter O’Toole, Steve Railsback and Barabara Hershey, this is a meaty and unusual film. Part comedy, drama and thriller, full of incredible stunts, the movie casts a focused lens on just what it takes to make a big motion picture, and the risks and costs involved in putting the often unheralded stunt men and women through their dangerous paces. The Hotel del Coronado gets a generous amount of screen time and in many ways is another important movie character.
My Blue Heaven (199)
Steven Martin and Rick Moranis star in this wacky, crime comedy about a former mob member (Martin) who must adapt to life in suburbia, when he’s enrolled in the witness protection program with assistance by FBI agent Barney Coopersmith played by Rick Moranis.