Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT San Diego CA: The Historic Hotel del Coronado
San Diego CA: The Historic Hotel del Coronado PDF Print E-mail

Senior Correspondent PJJ, San Francisco CA: We seniors often hear the stand-up comedy lines, “You know you’re getting old when ....” Well, here’s the latest. You know you’re getting old when you realize that one of your favorite movies of all time was made nearly 60 years ago.

“Some Like It Hot” had its premiere at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood in 1959. All the stars of the film are now gone, including Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, George Raft, Pat O’Brien and Joe E. Brown. It was directed by the late multi-Academy Award winner, Billy Wilder.

Although the setting of most of the movie was supposed to be in a 1920s Florida beachfront hotel, it was filmed at the famed Hotel Del Coronado, a beautiful resort on an island connected by bridge to the city of San Diego, California. We've visited the hotel several times, and the unique, Cindarella-castle, red-peaked roof style of the original 1888 structure is still intact. Except for a contemporary, high-rise hotel annex next door, everything is just about the same as it was when Lemmon, Curtis and Monroe were there. They danced, sang, escaped the bad guys and frolicked on the sandy beach.

Do you remember it ended with one of the greatest lines in movie history? Millionaire Joe E. Brown proposes to Jack Lemmon’s fake female character, who’s in disguise to escape the mob. Lemmon gives several reasons why they can’t be married, and Brown answers that it doesn’t matter.

Finally, Lemmon pulls off his blonde wig and confesses they can’t get married because he’s a man. The final line from a grinning Brown is, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” And this was two generations before same sex marriage was ever even part of the vocabulary!

Inside the hotel is a gallery of historic photos and artifacts from the movie and the hotel’s long history. The del Coronado was where England's Prince of Wales met local divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson in 1934. Then, because of their love, Edward gave up his king’s crown two years later to marry her.

The hotel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and recently named one of the top ten resorts in the world by USA Today. If your travels take you to San Diego, make a special trip across the bridge to visit the Hotel del Coronado.

Better yet, stay a couple of nights in the magnificant original building. You may be given the room where the Prince met and romanced his lady love, or where Marilyn Monroe once slept in the altogether.        

For more info, check with your favorite hometown or online travel agency, or go to www.HotelDel.com

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.