The Journal of San Diego History
Winter 1988, Volume 34, Number 1
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

Book Notes

Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor

Out With The Stars: Hollywood Nightlife in the Golden Era.

By Jim Heimann. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. 244 Pages. $39.95.

Out With the Stars is a splashy, oversized picture book about the nightlife of the stars during the peak of the Hollywood years, 1915 to 1945. The book includes a large selection of pictures – photographs, postcards, programs and menus, and even color pictures of matchbook covers – which are supplemented by a brief text. It covers chronologically the entertainment of the stars and thus gives some nice insights into the magic, make-believe world of Hollywood when it played a large role in American life and culture. Out With the Stars is important for San Diego historians because it includes coverage of Tijuana, noting that the border town had been a tourist magnet since 1889. The book discusses and contains pictures of saloons, restaurants, the Monte Carlo casino, the early race track, the Foreign Club and the famed Agua Caliente resort; which “really grabbed the film colony.” (p. 53). There is no coverage of San Diego. Is that because San Diego had little racy enough to appeal to the stars? Or is it because the author simply ignored San Diego? It is likely the latter since there are many photographs in the San Diego History Center Ticor collection of historical photographs to indicate a large and frequent Hollywood presence in San Diego. The book also does not deal with the Del Mar Racetrack, which was very much a Hollywood enterprise, with Bing Crosby as the leader in its establishment. While there is limited material on San Diego, the book is still recommended as good entertainment.