A trip into Hotel del Coronado’s Hollywood history

The beautiful Hotel del Coronado

The beautiful Hotel del Coronado | Photo via Hotel del Coronado

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Hotel del Coronado is one of the most iconic buildings in San Diego. Inside + out, The Del’s Victorian architecture makes a stunning sight. Yes, it’s served as a backdrop for many selfies, but it’s also been the setting for some classic Hollywood films.

The Del may not be Los Angeles, but it still has an impressive number of credits — each holding a special place San Diego’s history.


Marilyn Monroe had love for The Del | Photo via Hotel del Coronado

🎬 “Some Like it Hot

When locals think of The Del, images of Marilyn Monroe come to mind. You can thank “Some Like it Hot,” her 1958 film with Tony Curtis + Jack Lemmon. The movie wasn’t actually filmed inside the hotel, but sets were designed to replicate the style. However, the outdoor shots really do feature The Del.

DYK? While filming, the cast + crew stayed at The Del. Actor Tony Curtis was accompanied by his wife Janet Leigh who was pregnant with their daughter, Jamie Lee Cutis.

Crown Room

A photo of The Crown Room, as seen in “Wicked, Wicked” | Photo via Hotel del Coronado

🎬 “Wicked, Wicked

If you’re looking for a tour inside Hotel del Coronado, 1973’s “Wicked, Wicked” is a horror + slasher film with scenes in multiple locations. The movie is set in “The Grandview,” but exterior scenes give away its true identity. Keep your eyes peeled for shots of the Crown Room, lobby, and various hallways.

🎬 “The Stunt Man

From 1977-78, filming for “The Stunt Man” starring Peter O’Toole, Steve Railsback + Barbara Hershey took place in San Diego. Some scenes were shot in La Jolla, while others were filmed in Coronado with Hotel del Coronado in the background. True to its name, the movie featured an explosive stunt atop The Del’s Victorian roof.

🎬 “My Blue Heaven

In 1990, Steve Martin, Rick Moranis + Joan Cusack released “My Blue Heaven” featuring a law enforcement convention filmed at The Del. While the cast dances , “Hotel del Coronado” can be seen on patio umbrellas.

🎬 “Daydream Hotel

The 2017 fantasy film “Daydream Hotel” is set in the Hotel del Coronado, and was actually filmed on location for the first time in decades. The small indie project was produced by Coronado School of the Arts, and locals filmed + starred in the movie. The film is set in a “futuristic2022, so we’ll see how accurately they predicted the future in a couple of weeks.

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A historic photo of The Del. See any similarities to Oz? | Photo via Hotel del Coronado

Some of the movies filmed at The Del are a bit more obscure, but the historic hotel is said to have a more profound impact on cinema. It’s believed that author L. Frank Baum was inspired by The Del when writing The Wizard of Oz. While many people view this world as fantasy, San Diegans can, without a doubt, say “there’s no place like home.” Perhaps that sentiment won’t be repeated when watching (or reading) Stephen King’s psychological horror story, “1408,” which also draws inspiration from The Del.

Pro tip: although watching the movies filmed at The Del gives us a taste of the hotel’s beauty, there’s no substitute for seeing it in person. Even if you’re not staying the night, you can tour the Ice Room Museum, enjoy a self-guided tour + see the memorabilia.

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