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Antique Gambling Chips &  Gambling Memorabilia Web Site

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My email address:  chipe@ix.netcom.com

 SECOND AGUA CALIENTE PAGE:
More pictures (over 200) of the Agua Caliente resort's
buildings,
features, activities and celebrities


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Hotel Courtyard: part of West Wing, all of North Wing, and part of East Wing..  

MAIN AGUA CALIENTE PAGE: click here to go to the MAIN AGUA CALIENTE page -- about gambling chips and brief history of the resort, pictures, memorabilia, artifacts, maps....


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS PAGE -- LINKS TO SECTIONS BELOW:
1. Hotel --  building's entrance, square courtyard, and wings
2. Casino --  Wishing Well at entrance, Casino Patio, casino rooms and views
3. Horse and Dog Racetracks; Timeline of gambling in Mexico and Agua Caliente; and Current Situation: Caliente Casino, sportsbooks, slots, video terminals, chips, etc. Estadio (Stadium) Caliente
4. Spa, Baths and Pool
5. Bell Tower -- then and now
6. Hollywood and Other Celebrities at Agua Caliente; Scenes of the resort from movies made on location there.
7. Miscellaneous
8. Present-day remains of the resort
9. Menus -- Agua Caliente Menu adorned with Xavier Cugat caricatures, and other Lunch and Dinner menus





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This aerial view of the resort shows the crossed pathways in the Hotel courtyard (H), at the bottom center of the picture.  
The hotel is square-shaped, built around the courtyard.
The other main buildings of the resort are the Casino (C) and the Spa-Pool (P).
The Guest Bungalows (B) are at the left.  
The Garage (G) is at the lower right.

   

1. AGUA CALIENTE HOTEL BUILDING's ENTRANCE, SQUARE COURTYARD, AND WINGS.                               back The red line shows you where the scene is in the Hotel quadrangle, that is, at the north, east, south (entrance) and west wings.
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Agua Caliente Hotel Courtyard and its four wings (North Wing, East Wing, South/Entrance Wing, and West Wing).  For the pictures below, the red lines in the blue thumbnail pictures (in the column on the right) show which wing(s) you are looking at.

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101.  MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street (street side of "South Wing").   This side of the of the Hotel Building (quadrangle shaped building with courtyard plaza in the center) could be considered the "South Wing." Note the attractive arched colonnade corridor.

NOTES: (1) Beginning with postcard #108, below, all the scenes of the Hotel wings are of the courtyard side.  Postcards #101 and #103-107 show the famous Entrance (South) Wing from the auto road outside, not from the courtyard -- as the red lines in the blue sketches to the right indicate.   (2) Below, in section 6 --  Hollywood at Agua Caliente, there are many scenes of the courtyard in pictures from the movie "In Caliente."

Luis Alvarez and Francisco Ruiz Esparza N. are resposible for the identification of the hotel "wings" in the postcards of this section.  They also submitted many of the photos and postcards here.  Thanks to their stellar work, you enjoy the results here.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HOTEL:
The resort opened to the public in 1928, with just the South Wing completed (see picture #301a, below).  By 1929 the other three wings (North, East and West) were completed. (The entertaining and dining rooms were in the Casino building, a short walking distance from the Hotel, as shown in the maps above.)   In 1935 gambling was declared illegal in Mexico, so the resort (except for the Agua Caliente horse and dog Racetracks) closed.  The hotel building was converted into a school building, and eventually even that was destroyed, leaving no trace of the hotel.  (The site of the old famous horse track is now a modern sportsbook-dogtrack-slot mchine and video terminal casino-sports stadium.  For brief histories about gambling and racing at the place, see the text at these pictures below: #201, 301, 301a, 323 and 334.)

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102.  1928 aerial view of Hotel --  courtyard and all four wings.
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103.  Rarely seen view of South-East corner from the front side of the Hotel.
 I obtained this screen shot from this YouTube video.
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103a.  South-East corner from the front side of the Hotel, on this rare Real Photo Post Card.  The casino is in the background, at right.












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103b.  Rarely seen view of South-East corner from the front side of the Hotel, on this rare Real Photo Post Card.
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104.  MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street.   Hotel entrance arch, shows front and side of the arch.

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105.  Entrance from street.  
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105a. 
MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street.










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105b.  MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street.  Similar to 105a, above, but going in other direction. Back of the postcard (105b) says copyright 1929.










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106.  MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street.  I like the way the card shows the end of the wing at the white tower-arch in the distance.  
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106a.  MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street.  Real Photo Postcard.
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106b.  MAIN ENTRANCE TO HOTEL from street.  Another Real Photo Postcard.










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107.  MAIN ENTRANCE again, pretty picture.
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107a.  MAIN ENTRANCE again, pretty picture.
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107b.  Real Photo Postcard (rotated here) of the hotel vestibule.

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108.  Courtyard views: PART OF WEST WING -- joins NORTH WING in distance.   The section of the West Wing (called the "Corridor") that is to the right of the arch connects with the "North Wing."  Guests would go through the West Wing Arch to reach the Garage, Spa and Pool.   Here is another postcard of the same view.
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109.  WEST WING (left) joins NORTH WING (right).  From left to right: part of West Wing, tall white Bell Tower, and part of North Wing.
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109a.  Rare postcard.  Published by Kasbower Co., Los Angeles, Calif.

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110.  WEST WING (left) joins NORTH WING (right).  The Presidential Suite at the North-West corner.  Look below for the similar one at the North-East corner.  (Above picure is from a print of a drawing, not a postcard.)
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110a.  WEST WING (left) joins NORTH WING (right).  The Presidential Suite at the North-West corner.
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110b.  WEST WING (left) joins NORTH WING (right).  The Presidential Suite at the North-West corner.   Real Photo Post Card.
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111. NORTH WING joins WEST WING in the background (same scene as picture above).
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111a. NORTH WING joins WEST WING in the background (same scene as picture above).
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112.  WEST WING CORRIDOR again -- part of NORTH WING is seen in the distance at right.   Glimpse of the Gardens from the Corridor, and you also glimpse part of the "North Wing," including the large North Wing entrance, in the right background.
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113.  Tip end of SOUTH WING-entire WEST WING-most of NORTH WING.   Magnificent vista view of Hotel's Court Yard (called "Palm Court" on this panorama postcard of the National Scenic Co).  Be sure to click here for a larger view of this great postcard!
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114.  NORTH WING (shown from its center entrance, extending to where it joins WEST WING in distance at left).   Note the large impressive North Wing entrance.  The North Wing entrance is, of course, actually in the center of the North Wing, but the postcard does not show the entire North Wing.  Some postcards that have the same scene call the North Wing "the New Hotel Building," here, for example.    And here is another postcard of the same view.

This North-West corner houses a "Presidential Suite," similar to the "Presidential Suite" at the North-East corner (see pictures 127 and 127a).
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114a.  NORTH WING (shown from its center entrance, extending to where it joins WEST WING in distance at left).  Real Photo Postcard.










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115. NORTH WING entrance (again).

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116.  NORTH WING entrance (again).  Avenida de Las Palmas, a wide walkway which runs through the center of the courtyard-garden-square.  As viewed here, the courtyard Entrance of the MAIN (SOUTH) WING is in the foreground and the stately entrance of the North Wing is in the background.
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116a.  NORTH WING.  Rare Real Photo Postcard.
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117.  NORTH WING (similar to above picture).  Structure on the far left is the part of the building that houses the North Wing entrance.  As the Wing continues to the right (off picture) it would meet the East Wing.
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118. NORTH WING --  picture of a small but accurate proportioned model of the entire North Wing of the Hotel.  Model created by Antonio Lara.  Click here to see other pictures of this model!
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119.  NORTH WING,  connects with WEST WING in left rear distance.  The two-story row on the center-right attaches to the North Wing Entrance (tall white structure at center-left).  
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120. NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right) at distant right.   Postcard is the artwork of J. Paul Burnham . The back of the postcard says copyright 1929.
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121.  Same as  above picture, but this is a close-up from the original photo postcard.    The postcard is entitled (in English translation) "Staircase and Bell Tower."
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122. NORTH WING.   Avenue of Palms.
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123.   Entire NORTH WING.  Hand-colored postcard, published by Hotel Agua Caliente.  Here the entire courtyard is referred to as "Palm Court."
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http://www.antiquegamblingchips.com/
124.  NORTH WING.  Rare postcard (never saw before, Sept. 2014). Click here for a beautiful enlarged picture of this postcard.  It went for $29 on eBay.
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125. NORTH WING, with EAST WING seen in the distance at right.  Practically the entire North Wing (left side of picture), and you see where it joins the East Wing in the background (right half of the picture).  Great view.
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126.  NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).   Rare postcard.  Good view.
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127.  NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).
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128. NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).
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129.  NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).  Close-up of the Presidential Suite.  Same wings intersection as above, but a more cropped picture (the entrances in the middle of the wings are not shown).
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129a.  NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).  Snapshot photo taken October 28, 1929,  the day before infamous Black Tuesday (October 29, 1929), the day of the Great Crash, the stock market crash that started the Great Depression!
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130.  NORTH WING.  Entire North Wing with parts of West  Wing (on the left) and East Wing (on the right).  Photo is from the 22-page souvenir booklet "Agua Caliente Hotel and Casino."  Click here to see the same picture in a much larger format. When the hotel opened in 1928 it was horseshoe-shaped -- there was no North Wing, which was built the following year (1929).   Click here for a glimpse of the back of the North Wing (seen at the lower left).
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131.  NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).  North Wing and East Wing come together at that tall white Belll Tower in the center of the picture.  The North Wing is on the left, and the East Wing is on the right.  At the far right is that East Wing arch through which you go to walk to the bungalows and the Casino.
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132. NORTH WING (left) meets EAST WING (right).  The Presidential Suite is at the intersection.    This wonderful picture not only shows the joining of the two wings, but it also shows the entrances of the two wings! (There is another "Presidential Suite" picture below this one.)  Click here for an enlarged picture.    

Postcards 127 and 127a literally state "Presidential Suite" on them.  On the other end of the courtyard, at the North-West corner (see postcards 111 and 112), the same architectural configuation is there, and we can assume that that is another Presidential Suite.
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133.  EAST WING and Galeria -- courtyard.  Going through that arch (on the right) takes you eventually to the guest  bungalows and the Casino building.  The section of the East Wing that is to the left of the arch connects with the North Wing, which is in the background left here.
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134.  EAST WING entrance.  Same courtyard-garden-square, but this time the path shown CROSSES the Avenida de Las Palmas.  The path facing you goes from the West Wing entrance arch (in the foreground)  to the East Wing entrance arch is the background.  
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135. SOUTH WING, COURTYARD SIDE.  In this rare photo, the long path is the Avenida de Las Palmas (Avenue of Palms), which runs through the courtyard connecting the North and South Wings.  The photo was taken from the North Wing (which would be near the foreground), and it shows the courtyard side of the South Wing (which could also be called the backside of the MAIN ENTRANCE WING!) in the distance.  Notice how plain this rear side is -- one-story with simple windows.    (Thanks to Francisco Ruiz Esparza N. for locating this photo, the only one I knew of showing the backside of the main hotel wing -- till I came across the picture just below!)

Here is a fanciful photoshop-like re-creation, made by Luis Alvarez, of what the backside of the South Wing would look like.
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AguaSouthBkB030714.jpg  136.  SOUTH WING, COURTYARD SIDE.  Early picture of the Hotel.  Note the rudimentary start of the West Wing in the distance.  It would be completed later.  Also note that the Palms courtyard with the Avenue of Palms walkway had not yet been built.
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2. CASINO BUILDING and its WISHING WELL and DINING PATIO, ROOMS                                   back
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201.  The Casino building at Agua Caliente.  You don't usually see such a wide shot of it on a postcard.

BRIEF HISTORY OF GAMBLING AT AGUA CALIENTE:

The hotel and casino were built in 1928, the racetrack in 1929.  In 1935 gambling was outlawed in Mexico, and the hotel-casino closed down, but the racetrack continued without gambling.  In 1938 gambling was permitted again at the track.  In 1992  horse racing was discontinued at the track (due to labor  problems and competition from California tracks), but dog racing continues to this day.  In 1989  sports betting was allowed at the track, and later video terminal and slot machine betting.  So today there is a "Caliente Casino" at the site of the original Agua Caliente Racetrack, and there are lesser Caliente Casinos (all owned by the Mexican company Caliente) throughout Mexico taking sporting bets from contests around the world, as well as hosting bingo games and housing hundreds of electronic gaming machines. Mexican federal law prohibits live games of chance – such as blackjack, poker and baccarat -- save for special events. However, the electronic versions of these games are allowed in casinos, among other types of games. And even live games have been seen there, permitted by compliant officials (see picture 338 below).  More detailed information on this in section three below.  Gambling timeline at 301a, below.
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201a.  Cover of August 1931 "Hollywood" screen magazine.  Inside is an article about Agua Caliente hotel-casino resort -- about it's development of the hot springs from Indian and Spanish times, the development of the resort, the fascination of the Hollywood elite with it, but mostly about the different casino games there and the stars who play them, and lastly some info about the horse-racing scene at the Agua Caliente racetrack. I have reproduced the article here, here, and here.
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202.  Casino Entrance; the Wishing Well is at center left, near the people in background
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202a.  Casino entrance, from an old photo.
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203. Similar view as above.  Note the Casino entrance on the left and the "Gift Shop" sign on the right.    If you needed to buy any necessary things like toothbrush, drinks, hygiene, candies, novewlties, newspapers, gifts, etc., that is where you went.  ("Almacen" is Spanish for store, storehouse, shop, etc. )
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204.  Another side of the same gift shop.   See the sign and the Wishing Well.  ("Almacen" is Spanish for shop, storehouse, etc.)
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205.  1932 postally used postcard of the Casino, published by the Agua Caliente Co.
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206.  1928  aerial view of Casino complex (center left), about 20 Bungalow buildings (lower-right half of picture), and  Hotel  Entrance-South Wing and East Wing (top of picture).
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207.  Tourists at the Casino.
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207a.  Rare Real Photo Postcard of the Casino.   Artistic picture, but too bad that the entrance to the casino and the famous Wishing Well in front of the entrance are obscured by the tree.
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208.  Wishing Well of the Casino, and Casino entrance, which is open here.
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209.  Another view.  Real Photo Post Card (RPPC), 1930.
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210.  Same view, here in colored postcard.

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211.  Wishing Well, again.
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212.  Rare postcard, unusual perspective: picture taken from the casino area shows, from left to right: the Spa-Minaret, the auto garage (to the left of the tree), and the Hotel entrance.  (Postcard courtesy of Luis Alvarez.)
AguPC091610.jpg 213.  I am particularly fond of this rare postcard, mainly for the perspective it sheds on the resort complex. Look at the two postcards near the top of this page.  The postcard here brings everything together.  The couple in the foreground is walking into the (unseen) casino entrance.  Note the famous casino "wishing well" behind them.  Now, note in the background the famous hotel entrance.  This postcard gives a feel for being at the resort and shows the rather short walking distance between the casino and the hotel.
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214.  Hotel viewed from the Casino.

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215.  Another Hotel view from the Casino.  Note the wishing well on the left.
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216.  Here the Casino is viewed from the Hotel!  Rare and unusual postcard.  The photographer is standing on the front corridor, front entrance of the hotel, and shooting diagonally towards the casino.
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216a.  Real Photo Postcard: "Patio Entrance."  The hotel is in the background.  Where the window is at the upper left, it is the street-side of the hotel where the East and South wings of the hotel meet.
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217.  Here the Hotel is viewed from the Casino.
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217a.  Here the Spa building (and Minaret behind it) is viewed from the Casino entrance, in this photo.  Note the nearby Wishing Well.
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218.  Another very rare postcard with another unusual view/perspective from the Casino's point-of-view: through the Wishing Well across the parking area/plaza to the Spa (note the minaret, which is behind the Spa complex).  Pictures of the spa here. 

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219.  #125 JARDIN DE AGUA CALIENTE GARDEN TIJUANA BC MEXICO REAL PHOTO POSTCARD RPPC. Note the Casino's Wishing Well in the foreground, with the hanging bucket clearly shown.  In the background is the Minaret at the Spa.
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220.  Similar view of the resort from the Casino entrance.  Note the Wishing Well, Minaret, and Hotel main entrance.  See the "Gift Shop" sign on the left.  This scene is from most of a panorama postcard of the National Scenic Co.  Be sure to click here for a larger view of this great postcard!
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221.  The casino was built without windows and clocks.  The ornamental ceilings masked catwalks used by security.  This is the main casino area.  The rear room is the "Gold Bar" room, reserved for high-stakes gambling.
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222.  Interior shot of the main Casino area, which shows a roulette table.
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223.  Same scene in black and white photo.  (This photo and the following one owned by Luis Alvarez, purchased from the S.D. Historical Society.)
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224.  Here the Gold Bar room is closed off by curtains.
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225.  1930 Agua Caliente photo entitled "The Casino Gambling Hall."  Note it is the same room as in the two above postcards.
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226.    Another section of the main Casino area.  With 16 roulette tables, a large casino area was needed.  This picture is of the Casino "salon," pictured in Paul Vanderwood's "Satan's Playground," p. 29.
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 227.  Main Dining Room. 
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228.  Entertainment Hall.  As the title of the postcard suggests, this room served purposes other than dining.  It was used for dancing and entertainment as well.  A vintage linen postcard of "Sala De Fiesta at Hotel Agua Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico.
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229.  Patio Dining Room empty.
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230.  Casino Patio -- note the famous Fountain of the Little Star.
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231.  Casino Patio.  Same scene as above, but with patrons at the tables.  Note the "Fountain of the Little Star."
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 232.   Another view of the Patio.
  Note the "Fountain of the Little Star."
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233.  This postcard brings everything together: the sky above, the famous staircase, the Fountain of the Little Star, and the title names it as the Patio of the Casino.
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233a.  Again, famous staircase and balcony at Casino's patio.  Real Photo Post Card.
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234.  More of the Patio, here showing the famous staircase and the sky.
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234a.  Real Photo Postcard (rare) of that famous staircase.
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235.  1930 photo of the Casino's Patio Cafe.
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236.  More views of the Casino Patio Cafe.   (Source.)
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237.  Gated entrance (viewed from the outside) to the Casino's Patio.   Patio pictures are above this one.



3.  HORSE AND DOG RACETRACKS, GAMBLING TIMELINE, and modern CALIENTE CASINO  (modern sports book, slots, video terminals and chip gambling there today).                back
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300.  Montage of scenes from the Agua Caliente racetrack, including Hollywood celebrities at the track.  Click here  for an enlarged picture. 

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301.  1929 Agua Caliente Race Track.  

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HORSE AND DOG TRACKS AT AGUA CALIENTE:


The $2.5 million Agua Caliente racetrack opened in December 1929, one year after the Hotel-Casino opened.  To get the extravagant track they envisioned, the Border Barons and their architects visited the major tracks in the US and Europe.  It was the site of several industry firsts, including starting gates, safety helmets, photo finishes, the first public address race caller and “pick six” wagering. Both Phar Lap and Seabiscuit ran and won the Agua Caliente Handicap, which for a time was the richest in the world with its $100,000 purse!  The race has been won by many champions, including Round Table in 1958, Gallant Sir (1933 & 1934), who won it twice and in record time, Phar Lap in 1932 and Seabiscuit in 1938.  The race attracted wealthy Southern Californians.  But in 1935, Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas outlawed gambling and the resort was closed. Though the race track continued to operate, gambling was not legalized again until 1938, by which time the track had already been replaced by the new Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, United States, as the choice of owners to run their horses.  In 1947 a small dog track oval was inserted within the larger horse race track oval (see picture #327 below).   In 1971 the original structure of the racetrack was destroyed in a fire. It was later repaired, [reopened for horse racing, struggled for years, eventually discontinued horse racing May 17, 1992, due to poor attendance and labor problems], and continues operation today (in a rebuilt structure) as a dog track and a successful national and international sports book and casino (mainly slot and other machines, though some illegal live table games -- see pictures 338 and 343 below), Wikipedia.  Source.   On the map at the top of this page the horse track is location #17.  This article enumerates the many "firsts" in racing safety, efficiency and betting that were at Agua Caliente.

Per a 1993 Los Angeles Times news article: "Although Caliente is doing away with horse racing, the track's dog races, which are run daily, and the popular sports book operations will continue. And the track still offers satellite wagering on horse races at tracks throughout the United States.  In addition, wagering is also available on all major U.S. sporting events. Besides Nevada, Caliente is the only place in the world that offers legal all-out betting on U.S. sports other than horse and dog racing. At Caliente, it is possible to wager on dog races and a basketball game at the same time." Dog racing continues today.

The first dog track was established,  at location 14 on the map above, about the time of the hotel opening, but "in 1947, Caliente built an excellent greyhound racetrack at the infield of the horse racetrack." (Source.).

AGUA CALIENTE HANDICAP (COFFROTH HANDICAP).
"Initially run as the Coffroth Handicap at Tijuana Race Course in 1917 and from 1921-1929, the Coffroth H. was renamed the Agua Caliente Handicap with the closure of Tijuana and the opening of Agua Caliente Racetrack in 1930. The Agua Caliente H. was run at Agua Caliente from 1930-1934 and in 1938, before being run once more in 1958 as the Caliente Handicap."
A run-down of each of these races, with pictures, is found at this page.

In the text to the pictures below, I refer to these five designations for the time period of the track.  They were built at two different locations -- TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack) "was built very close to the San Ysidro border gate" (source), and the others at location 17 in the map at the top of this page:

TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack, 1916 built - 1929 abandoned)
TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation)
TRACK #3 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction)
TRACK #4  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1974 rebuilt - 2007 demolished)
TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built at same location - present)

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301a.  
Above newspaper front page from January 1, 1928.    

TIMELINE OF THE GAMBLING SITUATION IN MEXICO, WITH EMPHASIS ON AGUA CALIENTE, TIJUANA:


early history -- in the 19th century, due to the the French influence, and during Porfirio Diaz's 30-year reign, French-style casinos proliferated. The 1911 Mexican Revolution ended Diaz's rule and put a hold on the gambling industry.  The Tijuana Race Track (1916-1929) opened "following Mexico’s 1915 decision to legalize gambling." (Source.)

1928 -- Agua Caliente Hotel & Casino opens with full-scale gambling.  (The dog track there opened the year earlier, at location 14 in the map above.)

1929 -- Agua Caliente (Horse) Racetrack opens, supplanting the old 1916 Tijuana (Horse) Race Track. Wagering on the races allowed.   The Horse Track is at location 17 in the map above, the same location it rebuilt at over the years, the same location as the present Hipodromo de Agua Caliente (Agua Caliente Racetrack), which houses the current dog track-Caliente Casino-sportsbook-video-slot machine casino.

1935 --  Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas outlawed gambling, and the resort was closed, never to re-open there.  Also no gambling was allowed at the race tracks, which continued to operate without a ticket-teller window.

1938 -- gambling allowed once again at the race tracks.

1947 -- the old dog track moved:  a small dog track oval was inserted within the larger horse race track oval.

1947 -- a Mexican gaming law was passed to solidify the ban on gambling (but  horse-betting continues at the racetracks).

1971 -- the race track was destroyed by fire.  Rebuilt, and reopened in 1974.

1989 -- the Tijuana-based Caliente Racetrack received permission from the Mexican government to offer sports betting. While not an outright approval of legalized gambling, it certainly moved the country one step in the "right direction."

1992 -- horse racing ended at Caliente due to labor problems and competition from California tracks, especially when, in 1973, California allowed Sunday racing.  "Ironically, a lot had to do with the population explosion in Southern California. San Diego was growing as a major vacation spot for Los Angelinos and crowds at the Tijuana border would back traffic up for miles. At times it could take 90 minutes just to get from San Diego to the border parking lots. For most people going to the races, it wasn't worth the struggle. As the American crackdown on illegal drugs broadened, the lines of traffic got even worse." (Source.)  Dog racing continues to this day.

2004 -- the Secretaria de Gobernacion (similar to the U.S. Ministry of the Interior), which oversees the gambling and raffles department, took action and issued regulations which would allow the operation of certain numbers-based games. Those opposed to gambling were greatly upset when outgoing Secretary of State Santiago Creel approved more gaming licenses in a month than had been approved from 1917 to 2004.  As a result, there is all sorts of gambling throughout Mexico, though no "live table games."  There is much sports book betting (online, by phone, in person -- on races and sporting events throughout the world);  Pari-Mutuel Betting (mainly horse racing, dog racing and Jai Alai); video gambling/slot machines ( for example, in the typical Mexican bingo parlor, you might find as many as 200 to 300 machines. Payouts usually average from 94 to 96 percent); lottery; bingo; poker (various forms of it played in many casinos and hotels, legal or not).

2007-8 -- the old Agua Caliente racetrack building was rebuilt into the largest casino-sportsbook in Mexico and a shopping center and sports stadium.

today -- today, the main casino-sportsbook-dog track in Tijuana, Mexico, is  called "Casino & Racetrack  Caliente." It is located at the site of the old 1929 Agua Caliente Racetrack.  It's home page is here.  The casino is often called "Caliente" or "Caliente Casino."  The dog track  is named "Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente."  The company also owns the nearby sports (soccer) stadium, "The Estadio Caliente." ....."Casino & Racetrack  Caliente" is just one cog in the world-wide gambling empire controlled by the Mexican-owned Caliente Company (home page), which operates and owns "full featured casinos with modern electronic gaming terminals, bingo halls, sports betting, live greyhound racing and simulcast horse racing. ... Its entertainment offerings now include the largest collection of electronic gaming terminals in Mexico, the only greyhound track in Mexico and a recently constructed premier class soccer stadium in Tijuana."  In Tijuana alone, it owns about 20 "Caliente Casino" betting parlors. ....  Mexican federal law prohibits live games of chance – such as blackjack, poker and baccarat -- save for special events. However, the electronic versions of these games are allowed in casinos, among other types of games. And even live games have been seen there, permitted by compliant officials (see picture 338 and 343 below).

predictions for the future --  one large real estate-hotel-vacation firm (Rosarito Inn Condominium Hotel Suites) makes these predictions:  "Mexico has forayed into casino and gambling after many decades and new facilities and permits are on the cards. A minimum of four new services are planned along the Texas-Mexico border. Besides this, over 35 gaming sites are expected to come up within 50 miles of the state's boundaries. Casinos may also come about in the beachfront resort cities of Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. Border towns, such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez will have more casinos. Casinos are also expected to open in the Mexico City area. ...  It is speculated that with the [predicted] legalization of gambling in Mexico, resorts worth over $500 million would open in Acapulco and Mazatlan as potential casinos. Many gambling companies of Las Vegas are keen to open casinos in the prospective market of Mexico...."

Sources: here, here, and here.  Good brief hisory of the Caliente tracks here.  And here -- home page for racing there, and short history of horse racing there.
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301b.  Fold-out postcard of the 1929 track, published by the Agua Caliente Co.
Click here for a bigger picture.
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301bb.   Dec. 12, 1929 Press Photo: Agua Caliente Jockey Club officials dedicate new racetrack.  "Champagne from the sunny vineyards of France formally christened the new $2,000,000 racing plant here recently in preparation for the Inaugural meeting which begins December 28 for eighty one days. Photo shows Betty Jean Bowman, daughter of Wirt G. Bowman, President of the Agua Caliente Jockey Club, dedicating the track. Wirt G. Bowman is right in back of her, and George W. Schilling, Steward, is on the extreme left."
 ENTRANCE SIDE OF RACETRACKS AT TIJUANA-AGUA CALIENTE OVER THE YEARS:

TRACK #1 --Tijuana Racetrack: 1916 built - 1929 abandoned-- the ENTRANCE SIDE, picture below:
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TRACK #2 --Agua Caliente Racetrack: 1929 built (at a location different than the Tijuana Racetrack) - 1950s renovation).   Built by the Agua Caliente Casino-Resort people.   ENTRANCE SIDE, picture below:
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TRACK #3 -- Agua Caliente Racetrack:  1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction    -- ENTRANCE SIDE, picture below:
ent 2



TRACK #4  -- Agua Caliente Racetrack: 1974 rebuilt after the fire - 2007 demolished.  -- ENTRANCE SIDE, picture below:
ent 3



TRACK #5 -- "Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente:" 2007 built - present.  -- ENTRANCE SIDE, below:
entrance 4

301c.  Above are five different entrance facades to the  grandstands of the Tijuana and Agua Caliente racetracks over the years.

GRANDSTAND SIDE OF RACETRACKS AT TIJUANA-AGUA CALIENTE OVER THE YEARS:

TRACK #1 --Tijuana Racetrack: 1916 built - 1929 abandoned, picture below:
AguaFirstTrack0314A.jpg



TRACK #2 -- Agua Caliente Racetrack: 1929 built at a new location - 1950s renovation.  (see picture #309 below).  Original 1929 grandstands, and Jockey Club (to the left, with awnings), picture below:
track 1



TRACK #3 -- Agua Caliente Racetrack: 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction.    Many renovations/expansions were made to the track between 1929 (opening date of Agua Caliente Track) and the 1971 totally destructive fire.  The middle picture here is from a postcard seemingly postmarked in 1962, and no zip code in the address, indicating that period.  The lowest of the three pictures is from a postcard postmarked 1967.  The three pictures of Track #3 below:
grandsatnds 2
grandstands 3
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TRACK #4  -- Agua Caliente Racetrack: 1974 rebuilt after the 1971 fire - 2007 demolished.  (see picture #324 below).  The new grandstands after the 1971 fire, picture below :
AguaTrkGrdStd750Sm.jpg


TRACK #5 -- "Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente:" 2007 built - present. -- (see picture #329 below).  The current incarnation (c. 2008), and hardly a grandstands -- mainly a small viewing area.  That is a solid red roof.  Dog racing only.  Pictured below:
grandstands 4


301d.  Above are five different grandstand facades of the Tijuana and Agua Caliente racetracks over the years..  
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302.  TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack, 1916 built - 1929 abandoned).   This is the "Tijuana Race Track," which was used from 1916 to 1929. It closed when the Agua Caliente Racetrack was built in 1929.  (Actually the Tijuana Race Track "was inaugurated in 1916, and almost immediately destroyed by the great flood of 1916. .... This track was subsequently rebuilt close-by, and races were run there until the Agua Caliente Race Track (or racetrack) was opened in 1929.")The Agua Caliente Track is pictured below at #303a.  Both tracks are similar in that the grandstands are on the right and the fancy jockey club is nearby to the left.  However, if you look closely, you will see obvious differences: the Tijuana track has a low-roof grandstand with many columns, and the clubhouse is a fair distance away.  On the other hand, the Agua Caliente track has a grandstand with a high roof and few columns, and the Jockey Club is quite close to the grandstands.  You may read about the two tracks at this web page.   Another information-packed web page of the two tracks here.
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302a.  TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack, 1916 built - 1929 abandoned).    As noted above, the Tijuna Racetrack was destroyed by a great flood shortly after it open in 1916, and was subsequently rebuilt.  Pictures of the flooded grandstands, above.  (Source. Other pictures there too.)
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302b.  TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack, 1916 built - 1929 abandoned) --  the first Tijuana horse track.  
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302c. TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack, 1916 built - 1929 abandoned). The first Tijuana horse track.
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302d.  TRACK #1 (Tijuana Racetrack, 1916 built - 1929 abandoned).   Entrance to Grandstands, the first Tijuana horse track.  (Source.)
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303. TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation). -- December 1929 press photo of the "new Agua Caliente Racetrack, to be completed by Opening Day of the Inaugural meeting December 28, 1929."  In the photo, the grandstands, on the right, are practically completed; the Jockey Clubhouse, on the left, is under construction; and the press box is atop the grandstands.
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303a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation). Owners and officials at the dedication ceremonies  for the new $2 million Agua Caliente Racetrack, which opened December 28, 1929.  Left to right are: George W. Schilling, Associate Steward and Placing Judge; James N. Crofton, General Manager; John P. Mills, San Diego real estate operator; Wirt G. Bowman, President of the Agua Caliente Jockey Club; and Baron Long, a hotelier.  Crofton, Bowman and Long were  the “three Border Barons,” who owned the resort.  Back of the press photo here . (I own this photo.  The white surrounding Crofton is a white-out paste added to the picture to isolate Crofton for a separate picture of him.)
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303b. TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Nice close-up Real Photo Post Card of the grandstands.
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303c.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).-- Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built.  Here is a fine, unobstructed shot of the Jockey Club.
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303d.  Uncluttered view: TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).--  source).
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303e.  Uncluttered view: TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).
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303f.   TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).
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303g.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  View from the inside.  Real Photo Postcard.
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304.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).
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304a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).
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305.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation). The original 1929-built horse track.  Early photo of entrance side to Agua Caliente Race Track Grandstands and Jockey Club, c. 1929.
(Club House and Grandstand bleachers, and racetrack were on opposite side.)
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305a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).
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305b.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).   Another Real Photo Postcard of the track entrance.
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305c.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).   Wide postcard of the early track.  Click here to see a very large picture of this magnificent postcard.  The line across the center was deliberatly put there -- it was intended that the card be folded in half to be used as a postcard (the necessary post card form is printed on the back, with space to write a message).  On the back it says "Published by Agua Caliente Co., Wirt G. Bowman, Pres," and "Post Cards of Quality -- The Albertype Co., Brooklyn NY."
AguaTrack062214.jpg
305d.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).--  Entrance side.   I have seen the same postcard with a 1934 cancellation.  Notice that on the bottom it proclaims, "The Finest Race Course In the World," certainly the one which offered the richest purses in the world at one time.
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306. TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  The original 1929-built horse track.
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306a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Original 1929-built track.  Similar view as the above postcard.
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307. TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  The original 1929-built horse track. Postmarked January 1931.  In the distance: center-left you see the white Bell Tower, and center-right is the tall Minaret at the Spa.
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307a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Original 1929-built track in beautiful verdant location, so different from today.  Compare to the present incarnation of the Caliente track at the same location: here and here.
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307b.  Agua Caliente track and Tijuana environs then (1929) and now (2012).  (Source and enlargement, 2nd picture.)
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308.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Real Photo post card: Agua Caliente Jockey Club: Club House in foreground, Grandstand next to it.  The original 1929-built horse track.
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308a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).   Real Photo Post Card, Sepia Toned.  Rare postcard.
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308b.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).   Real Photo Post Card.
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308cTRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Original 1929 track. March 1931 press photo of Jockey Club and Grandstands during the running of the second Agua Caliente Handicap.  Robert M. Eastman's Mike Hall won.
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308dTRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Aerial view.
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309.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Original 1929 track.  Good view, good postcard.  Must be rare -- I never saw it before (Sept 2014).
joc club track
309a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  The original 1929-built horse track. Beautiful post card of Agua Caliente Jockey Club: Club House to left, Grandstand to right.
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309b.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).
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309c.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Original 1929 track.  View of the track from inside the Jockey  Club.
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309d.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  The original 1929-built horse track.
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309e.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Rare view, from top of Club House, and rare postcard.  Dated 1950 on reverse side.
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310.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  The original 1929-built horse track.
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310a.  TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  The original 1929-built horse track.
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311. TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  Rare view of the side of the Jockey Club building.  The original 1929-built horse track. Alongside it in the background (with the long red roof) is the Grandstands building.
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311a. TRACK #2 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s renovation).  This is a framed 10 x 20 inch photo, by O. A. Tunnell, of the grandstands at the $140,000 March 23, 1930, running of the Agua Caliente Handicap, won by Victorian.  At the time it was the richest race in North America.  The race was won by many champions, including Round Table, Gallant Sir, who won it twice and in record time, Phar Lap and Seabiscuit.  More about the race here by Wikipedia.
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312.  Phar Lap, the great New Zealand-Australian race horse, shown here with his trainer, jockey and farrier right after his victory in his final race, the Agua Caliente Handicap (March 20, 1932).  He mysteriously died of poison (intentionally or accidentally) April 5, 1932.  He was originally obtained for a mere 160 guineas, and he looked and performed unimpressively at first, finishing last in his first race and out of the money in the next three races.  He quickly improved and won 32 of his last 35 races.  Of the three losses, two were very close, and in the third one he carried an unusually heavy weight.  In his final race, at Agua Caliente, he circled the entire field from dead last with ¾’s of a mile to go and held off American Derby winner, Reveille Boy, to win the race in track-record time!  When he died, he was the third highest stakes-winner in the world.  Click here and here to see a newsreel video of his thrilling Agua Caliente Handicap victory.  See the race programe of the famous race here.
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312a.  Beautiful photo depicts " Phar Lap, after winning the Agua Caliente Handicap. His trainer Tommy Woodcock holds his reins, while race jockey Bill Elliott sits on his back. A crowd of people are in the background, including farrier [a specialist in equine hoof care] James Smith, who is holding what is possibly Phar Lap's blanket, as well as the race course's main grandstand.  See the story about Phar Lap in the row above.  Original picture in MuseumVictoria.
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312b.  Eddie Arcaro (1916-1997) won his first race in 1932 at the Agua Caliente racetrack; he was 16 years old. He won more American classic races than any other jockey in history and is the only rider to have won the U.S. Triple Crown twice. 
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312c.  All-girl-jockey race -- The Powder Puff Derby at Agua Caliente.
 The track held two all-female-jockey races per year.  One interesting fact: "Because the girls generally refuse to diet and because they average about 10 lbs. more than men jockeys, their races are usually scheduled at the high weight of 130 lbs."  "Most of the girls are rodeo performers, enter for the fun of it."  Weighing-in in top picture.  (Source: Life magazine August 18, 1940 issue.)
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312d.  Jockeys assembled at Caliente for the Woolf Memorial: (left to right) Eddie Arcaro, Wiiliam Shoemaker, Merlin Volzke, Walter Blum, William Harmatz, Jockey's Guild President Bert Thompson, Pete Moreno, Jimmy Nichols, Gordon Glisson, Johnny Longden, Ray York, Mel Peterson and Rojelio Trejos (source and source).

"George Monroe Woolf (May 31, 1910 – January 4, 1946), nicknamed "The Iceman", was a Canadian-born thoroughbred race horse jockey. An annual jockey's award given by the United States Jockeys' Guild is named in his honor. He became known for riding the people's champion Seabiscuit to victories in 1938.  During the running of the fourth race at Santa Anita Park on January 3, 1946, Woolf fell from his horse, Please Me, as he rounded the clubhouse turn, and died of a concussion. ...  Most observers think his diabetic condition may have resulted in his suffering a dizzy spell or fainting" (per Wikipedia).
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313. 1955 press photo of rare TRIPLE DEAD HEAT, at Agua Caliente track.  Since photo finish cameras were introduced in 1934, there have been only two triple dead heats: at the Aqueduct track in New York in 1944, and one here, as of 1955 anyway!
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314.  1933 Press Photo of the "Second Largest Crowd in Mexican racing history, for Race at Agua Caliente Race Track
".  TRACK #2a ORIGINAL -- Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1929 built - 1950s
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315. Original Agua Caliente Dog Track.
 
DOG TRACKS AT AGUA CALIENTE TIMELINE:
¶ 1927-1947: the dog track and the horse track were at separate locations.  "Greyhound racing was introduced to Mexico through Caliente Greyhound Racetrack. ...Caliente organized its first Racetrack in 1927, in an area where the majestic Casino of Agua Caliente now stands" (source).  The dog track was located next to the bungalows and Casino; the track is seen at location #14 in the map above.  The horse track was separate, built  in 1929,  and was some distance away from the dog track, to the west across Blvd. Agua Caliente; it is seen as location #17 on the map above.  You can clearly see the two tracks (Dog and Horse) on the map here too.

¶ 1947-1992: the dog track was moved to inside the horse track. "In 1947, Caliente built an excellent [quarter-mile] greyhound racetrack at the infield of the horse racetrack" (source). In the aerial view picture below, you can see the small dog track oval inside the larger race horse track oval.  The horses ran during the daytime on Saturdays and Sundays, and the greyhounds at night all week.  All this activity, still at location #17.

¶ 1992-present: in 1992 the horse-racing was discontinued in Tijuana due to labor problems and competition from California tracks, leaving dog racing by itself at the track. As you can see from the aerial picture below, the small dog-race oval track remained (as did the sports book), but the larger oval horse track was mostly demolished for the new sports stadium.  So the small casino-sports book-dog track-stadium are all located at location #17, the spot of the old 1929 Agua Caliente Race Track.  Caliente track details (Facility address, mailing address, website, email address, upcoming race entries) here.  Click here for a bunch of videos of the Agua Caliente racetrack, including two videos showing greyhond races (2008, 2010), one of Phar Lap's great victory (1932) and one of Charlie Chaplin at the track (1935).  Click here for a recent greyhound race there -- note the nearby new sports stadium.

"In the United States, greyhound racing is controversial. Over the past five years the industry’s demise has been expedited as more and more U.S. states outlaw the practice. Today (March 2012), dog tracks operate in just seven states" (source) (also see). "You can see the dogs run daily at no charge at the Caliente Race Track. Races begin nightly at 7:45 p.m., with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays" (source).
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315a.  Original Dog Track.  Real Photo Postcard.
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315b.  Original Dog Track.  Real Photo Postcard.  1927.  Incredibly, this went for $306 at auction on eBay, March 7, 2018, item #122993935836.
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316. Dog racing at Agua Caliente.
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317.  Kennel Club at dog track.  I have seen another postcard of this scene with a 1936 postmark. so the scene must be 1936 or earlier.
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317a.  Kennel Club, Dog Track, Agua Caliente.  This is a Real Photo Post Card (RPPC).  The faint printing near the bottom of the card says, "Where the Dogs Race - Agua Caliente, Mexico".  Went for c. $105, including postage, on eBay June 2015.
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317b.  "Parading the Greyhounds before a Race, Agua Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico."  Real Photo Post Card.
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318.  TRACK #3 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).
 The old 1929-built  horse track in the 1950s or 1960s.  Undated postcard.  Note the additional grandstand added on the left, next to the Jockey Club grandstand.
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318a.  TRACK #3 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction). This postcard was postmarked 1967 on the back so the picture could be no later than 1967.
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318b.  TRACK #3  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).   I used to think this was the rebuilt grandstands after the 1971 fire because it is unlike the 1929 one in so many ways: the 1929 one had only 6 tall columns in front, a very high roof and only one above-ground grandstand tier.  The one in this postcard has many more columns, and two grandstand tiers above ground level.  However, as David Jimenez Beltran notes in his book about the track (cited below), in 1949 "Caliente closes for remodeling for the first of five such renovations at the hands of [John] Alessio." The picture here is from a postcard seemingly postmarked in 1962, and no zip code in the address, indicating that period.
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318c.  TRACK #3  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).   Wonderful (and quite rare) postcard of mine, postmarked Jan. 24, 1967, proof of the extensive renovations of the original 1929 track, proof that the greatly changed look and enlargement of the track occurred prior to the 1971 fire.
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318d.  TRACK #3  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).  From an 11" x 8 1/2"  photo of Caliente Race Track from a horse racing publication.  Fine photo.
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318e.  TRACK #3  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).
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318f.  TRACK #3  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).
Real Photo Postcard, cancelled in 1952.  Minor renovation: pretty much the same as Track #2 -- they just added a building (in foreground) next to the Jockey Club.
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319. TRACK #3 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).   Horse Track, prior to the 1971 fire, probably in the 1960's.   One of the many rebuildings and improvements to the racetrack after its 1929 birth. The scene you see here is estimated to be from the 1960's.  The astute seller of the postcard has said, "You can see a 1961 to 1964 Chevrolet Corvair "CorVan" Panel Truck, a 1960 Chrysler Imperial, a 1948-1953 GMC or Chevrolet Pick-up and many more vintage 1950's and 1960's cars."  Additionally, printed on the back of the postcard it says, "Caliente race track … where there is weekend racing throughout the year, and in the evenings the fabulous 49er betting on dog races. This is a highlight of your visit to Tijuana."  I just discovered (Dec. 2014) on eBay the very same postcard, and the seller shows the back with its October 15, 1965 cancellation date, so the picture has to be from 1965 or earlier.

(The Caliente race track is the originator of the Pick 6 [in the North American continent], then known as the 5-10 and later on the 4-9'er. Some racetrackers called it the Big Six.  A Pick 6 is a type of wager offered by horse racing tracks. It requires bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races. Because of the great difficulty in picking six straight winners, plus the number of betting interests involved, payoffs for successful wagers are quite high, sometimes in the millions of dollars.  The revolutionary impact of this bet on track attendance is examined here.)  More on the 5-10 in the next row.
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319a. TRACK #3 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).
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319b. TRACK #3 (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1950s renovation - 1971 fire destruction).  A 1964 view of the parking lot and entrance.
(Source.)
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320.  The famous 5-10 (Pick 6) bet, a Caliente first!  Brochure at left, bet slip at right.  On April 15, 1956, Agua Caliente unveiled its new bet, which would turn this tiny track into a powerful weekend magnet for gamblers. Agua Caliente was the site of several industry firsts, including starting gates, safety helmets, and “pick six” wagering. Caliente’s famous 5-10 was the forerunner to many pick-six wagers and had big payoffs. The object of the wager was to select six consecutive winners. The bet was placed on races five through ten, hence the name the “5-10.”

"The bet was placed by filling out a double-sided serial-numbered form. Local players quickly named this betting slip “la forma.” One would write out selections in one column and alternate selections in another. This was done in case of a late scratch.

"The slip was then stamped at a betting window and sent downstairs to a room where several workers would sort out the tickets with winning numbers as the races progressed. It was fascinating to see the workers quickly sort through stacks of betting slips. Later, Caliente would punch the betting slip and the amount bet on the 5-10 would tally on the tote system, thanks in part to some customers who tried to cash illegitimate or forged tickets.

"They had unleashed a monster. This beast would for the next two decades draw an unprecedented flow of horseplayers to the city of Tijuana unseen since the glory days of the Agua Caliente Casino in the 20’s and 30’s. Caliente held all the aces, with no Sunday racing in California and this bet with “get rich quick” possibilities of lottery proportion. California racing was tied to a bland menu of Win, Place and Show betting and could do little to change or compete with the betting format found at Caliente." (Sources here and here.)
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321.  The famous Caliente Racetrack 5-10 sign in San Diego: "Betting Daily on Major U.S. Horse Tracks." That tag line referred to the sports book at the Caliente racetrack.  The above Caliente Racetrack advertisement sign in San Diego tells an interesting story.  It was painted on the brick of a large movie theatre building, and thanks to preservationists both the building and sign remain there today despite the deterioration and disuse.  

The California Theatre was built in 1927 and was San Diego's premiere movie palace in its heyday.  The theatre, at 1122 Fourth St. in downtown,  is on the ground floor of a nine-story building, empty now for over 20 years, which takes up an entire city block.  The faded 40 x 80 foot yellow sign is on the western side of the building.  The theatre closed in the 1990s, and horse-racing ended at Caliente in 1992.  An historic landmark preservation law spared the theatre building, but in 2011 the sign was threatened with being painted over and replaced with a Newcastle Brown Ale beer sign.  The Caliente sign must have been painted before 1966 because preservationists invoked the "45-year review" rule to determine the historical significance of structures more than 45-years-old. The preservationists prevailed.  References: article, another article, YouTube video of the historic theatre, and current Facebook page of the theatre.
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322.  1971 --  Horse-Dog track destroyed by fire.  "When fire erupted in the forty-two year old grandstand of the Caliente Race Track on August 5, 1971, firefighters from San Diego joined Tijuana firemen in battling the blaze. Water had to be trucked in from more than a mile away. The loss of the uninsured grandstand was placed between $10-15 million and cost 3,500 jobs at the racetrack." (source) . .. .....  Headline and story from local Baja California, Mexico, newspaper: Destruction of Racetrack.
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322a.  Press photo of the 1971 fire.  Text there says the grandstand, clubhouse and offices were all destroyed, but no injury to people, horses or dogs.
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322b.  Charred remains from the 1971 fire, above.  (The grandstands were rebuilt in 1974.)
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323.  The track was rebuilt after the 1971 fire.  The back of this postcard reads, "Mock up of the new Agua Caliente Race Track, fine Arts Museum & Theatre. … Tijuana, most visited city in the world." .... "The "new" Caliente opened in 1974, but it was never really completed. It had promised to be a major shopping, entertainment and racing complex, but it never reached its goals. With the advent of simulcasting and inter-track wagering in California in the 1980s, thoroughbred racing gradually disappeared at Caliente. Only the dogs continued running (Source)."
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324.  TRACK #4  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1974 rebuilt after 1971 fire - 2007 demolished). These pictures of the rebuilt track are from David Jimenez Beltran's book "The Agua Caliente Story: Remembering Mexico's Legendary Racetrack" (pp. 169, 172).  I'm surprised that I have never seen a postcard or any other picture of it, but Beltan's book is so autoritative, I assume they are pictures of the track after the 1971 fire as he asserts.  Also, note the domed front entrance peeking out (from the left) in the bottom picture, a sure sign of the post-fire track (seen in the second picture just below)..... ... Confirmation that these are the pictures of the rebuilt track is found in these pictures and article in my copy of the June 21, 1976, issue of "The Blood-horse" magazine.  The article, entitled "A Phoenix in the Sun," is about the rebuilt racetrack after the 1971 fire.
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325.  TRACK #4  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1974 rebuilt after 1971 fire - 2007 demolished).  Lo and behold, the day after I entered the above pictures, I came across this postcard on eBay -- virtually the same scene as in the book; only the horses and people have moved about some!  It is an unused postcard.  The back is printed in English, though it says, "Hipodromo [Racetrack] De Agua Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico."  It's a standard size, 3.5” by 5.5”, postcard.
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326.  TRACK #4  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1974 rebuilt - 2007 demolished).   POST-1971 FIRE: (1974 - c. 2007) --  the rebuilt Agua Caliente entrance after the 1971 fire, designed by Javier Zeptien, had a more modern streamlined appearance, per "The Agua Caliente Story," by David Jimenez Beltran.   Even though the picture continues to be shown on web sites as the current Caliente dogtrack-sportsbook-casino, it was torn down, no longer exists.  The building was rebuilt, as seen in pictures 329 to 333.

"The [horse] track struggled on until 1992, when it was finally laid to rest. But Caliente is not the kind company to surrender easily. The early nineties were the age satellite broadcast. Noticing the growing market in offtrack betting, Caliente invested bravely in telecommunications technologies, formed new partnerships and alliances and began offering satellite transmissions straight from the track. The company had found a new face. ...  Caliente was quick to see the value of the internet, as it was to expand in to other sports, such as Football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball, Boxing, Golf and Auto Racing. It was the first company to build an online sportsbook linked with satellites and now enables millions of people all over South America to watch and place bets on sporting events all around the world. During the last decade of the century, the corporation has extended its operations to countries such as Antigua, Argentina, Austria, Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, Curazao, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. ... So it’s one of those rags to riches, back to rags and then back to riches stories. As the website explains in its broken English: “The hard times had been faced with enormous mettle; when turning to the millennium, it has turned 85 respectable years.” ... May it turn 85 more… " (Source)

Per a 1989  New York Times article: "With one eye, [the customer] can watch a pack of live horses charging down the Caliente stretch. With the other, he can glimpse a bank of nearby television monitors showing three other races in progress: thoroughbreds in California, harness horses in New Jersey and greyhounds in Florida. And because he is at Caliente, a $5 taxi ride from the Mexican border with California, he can legally have a bet down on all four races. Nowhere else in North America can a race bettor find this much action, and Caliente offers its largely American clientele a setting as exotic as the betting. .... Caliente's operators say they lose money on their live races and stage them for little more than decoration. What keeps Caliente in business is an advanced version of what many American tracks are increasingly turning to in their own fight for survival: betting on races being run somewhere else." Always trying to offer something more, they have bets crossing more state and international boundries, more exotic bets in an exotic location, no reporting to the IRS, better odds than Las Vegas, etc. ''Del Mar has threatened us with extinction,'' Arturo Alemany, Caliente's director for American operations, said this week. ''We always have to offer something more, so now we have added New York racing. If race books like ours come to California, we'll get sports betting. If California gets sports betting, we'll get casinos. If California gets casinos? Well, we'd have to throw in the girls.'' Alemany said Caliente's hope for the future lies in changing Tijuana's image from that of a shady border town to a ''Disneyland for bettors.'' He said Caliente has begun marketing tourist packages for couples: the idea is for one partner to go shopping and sightseeing while the gambler in the family spends the day in a race book. ..... "Caliente burned to the ground in 1971, but was rebuilt and sold a decade later to Jorge Hank Rhon, who moved the on-track race book from a building behind the track into the clubhouse to keep out the vagrants who once gave it a seedy look. Admission to the race book is now $10, fully refundable in bets, and the place is clean and bustling."
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326a.  TRACK #4  (Agua Caliente Racetrack, 1974 rebuilt - 2007 demolished).   Rare postcard.

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327.  THE LAST COMBINED HORSE AND DOG TRACK -- REBUILDING FOR THE PRESENT CASINO-SPORTS BOOK-DOG TRACK.  Above is an aerial view of the old tracks.  Since 1947 a small dog track oval was built inside the larger race horse track oval, as clearly seen above.   But since 1992 there was no longer horse racing at the Agua Caliente, Tijuana, track.  Therefore, they eventually planned to do away with the horse track and build a sports stadium.  Look at the areial view below to see how this was accomplihed.

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328.   PRESENT TRACK -- DOG RACING ONLY, AND ESTADIO CALIENTE STADIUM --  Aerial photo of the current Casino-Sports Book-Grandstand (long red structure at upper-left), dog track ( just below -- small oval) and the Estadio Caliente stadium (at right, large oval; built so Tijuana could host a major league soccer team). Interactive map of this here.  (The very large incomplete oval (on the left-center) is the remains of the defunct HORSE TRACK, which became useless after horse racing ceased in the 1990s.)

***** Wow! Here is a terrific wide and high aerial view of what you see in the above picture.  Click here.  The casino-sports book-grandstand, the dog track, and the new sports stadium are a little below the center of the picture.   *****
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329.  TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built - present).    BUILDING THE CURRENT CASINO-SPORTS BOOK-DOG TRACK.  Above are three pictures of the same building -- the phases of construction of the new Casino-Sports Book-Grandstand (called "Casino & Racetrack  Caliente"), about 2007.   Notice, for example, how the red roof is started and completed.  Sources here and here.  Another view of this (dated Sept 2007) here.  This 2007 post calls it  "Hipódromo [racetrack] de Agua Caliente" (source).  ..... .....  Here and here are other views.

In 2004, a Mexican law was passed allowing limited gambling, but machines (slots, computer terminals) only.   "The famous Agua Caliente Casino, ... reopened its doors this past Friday April 5th [2008], after being closed for a long time" (source and source).

The casino-sportsbook-dogtrack (pictured above, at the old Agua Caliente (Horse) Racetrack) is officially called "Casino & Racetrack Caliente" or just "Caliente Casino," and here is the web site for it.  It shows the formal address, room rates, telephone number, map, etc.  The website for the Caliente holding company that owns numerous  Caliente Casinos throughout Mexico is here.
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330.   TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built - present).    PRESENT TRACK -- DOG RACING ONLY --  the rear side of the new Casino-Sports Book building.  Source.  Note that without horse racing, there are no large crowds like before, so no large grandstands needed!  Also a greyhound track would be smaller than a horse racing track.  

Here is a superb, clear, wide-angle shot of the same scene --you can clearly see that the red roof is just that, a roof, not grandstand seats.  Here and here are other shots; the second one looks like the building (especially the roof) is uncompleted.
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331.   TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built - present).   PRESENT TRACK -- DOG RACING ONLY  -- CURRENT TRACK, COMPLETE WITH CASINO AND SPORTS BOOK:  Hipodromo de Agua Caliente -- A view of the current casino entrance.   The dog track is on the reverse side of the building.  "Famous since its inception, the Caliente [Grayhound] Racing Track & Casino offers fun for your visit to the city. Play on its machines, enjoy your favorite sports and win in their greyhound racing, an exciting experience," per their  web site .  The facility has a large sports playing field and hosts many sporting events.  Technically table games (black jack, craps, roulette, etc.) are illegal, but slot machines, poker rooms, bingo and sports book betting are allowed.  The chips shown below, at the end of this section, are from blackjack games, which frequently occur when officials are bribed.  So consider them illegal chips. ... ....  It is currently owned by millionaire politician Jorge Hank, who renamed it "Hipódromo de Agua Caliente," and it no longer holds horse races but rather greyhound races, per Wikipedia.   At their web site, they say, "The Caliente® Casino at the Agua Caliente Racetrack, located in Tijuana, is the gaming establishment with the most electronic gaming terminals in Mexico with more than nine hundred installed machines." (Source.)

A wider, more distant view of the front of the present building here.
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332.  TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built - present).    PRESENT TRACK -- DOG RACING ONLY -- another view of the current  casino-dog track-sports field  entrance.  
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333.   TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built - present).   PRESENT TRACK -- DOG RACING ONLY -- Another view of the building.
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334.  Estadio Caliente stadium was built on the much of the grounds of the old race track.  It is close to the current Casino-Sports Book-Dog Track (see above).  It is used mainly for football (soccer) games, hosting a major league team for that sport.  Source.

"The Estadio Caliente is a multi-use stadium in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, that is mostly used for football matches. ... The stadium hosts home matches for the Mexican professional football team Club Tijuana, who play in the Liga MX, Mexico's First Division. ...  The stadium was opened in November 2007, according to schedule. The stadium originally had a capacity of 13,333. On March 2008, the capacity was increased to 21,000 with eventual expansion to 33,333. ... Stadium owner Jorge Hank Rhon's main reason for constructing the stadium was his wish to have a professional soccer club in the city. ... Because the Mexican Football Federation says that teams participating in the First Division must have a stadium with a capacity over 15,000, Club Tijuana officially became qualified for promotion to the Primera División de México when the capacity was increased. ... The construction of the stadium was planned in two parts. The first part finished the ground and lower sections of the stadium. In the second phase, the stadium's capacity was increased," per Wikipedia.
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335.  Stadium, under construction, photo  2013.
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336.  Estadio Caliente stadium (lower picture, 2014).  Take a look at this interesting site, which shows pictures of the stadium over the years; construction is constantly going on.  The current seating capacity of the stadium is 21,000 as of May 2014, and the completion target seating capacity is 33,333.  The lower picture here was taken March  2014.
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337.  The stadium was built to host a major football (soccer) team, and it became the "Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, commonly referred to as Xolos de Tijuana, or simply as Xolos, the Mexican professional football club from Tijuana, Mexico. It was founded in January 2007. The colors that identify the club are red and black. On December 2, 2012, Xolos became champions of the Liga MX." Per Wikipedia.  Note the dog logo/mascot, as the stadium is right next to the Caliente dog track.
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338.  The Casino-Sports Book-Dog Track  is currently owned by millionaire politician Jorge Hank, who renamed it "Hipódromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente."  The casino-sports book is called "Caliente Casino" and also "Casino & Racetrack  Caliente .  The above picture is from a 2011 San Diego Red news story about Hank and the casino.  "Mexican federal law prohibits live games of chance – such as blackjack, poker and baccarat -- save for special events. However, the electronic versions of these games are allowed in casinos, among other types of games."  Live blackjack gems have been going on there for so long, many employees said they thought they were legal.  But employees were warned to deny there were live games after Hank's arrest on gun charges. Hank is a leading figure on the PRI political party, winning and losing elections, being investigated, arrested and released for many supposed crimes over the years.  Story here.

"Jorge Hank Rhon (born January 28, 1956) is a Mexican politician, businessman and owner of Mexico's largest sports betting company, Grupo Caliente. An eccentric and controversial personality, he served from December 2004 to February 2007 as the president of the municipality of Tijuana. He is the son of former Mexico City mayor Carlos Hank González and Guadalupe Rhon. Hank is the father of 19 children with several different women; he is also the stepfather of Matador Alejandro Amaya. ... He moved to Tijuana in 1985 to manage the Agua Caliente Racetrack and formed the Grupo Caliente which includes the dog racing track, a hotel, a mall and a network of entertainment centers in 19 states of Mexico as well as 13 countries of Central, South America and Europe. The number of employees of the racetrack grew from 700 to close to 6,000.... Hank has long been target of diverse rumors and accusations by the media and political rivals, like having links with organized crime, or being related to the 1988 murder of an Investigative Journalist in Tijuana. Also, in 2011 Mexican troops raided his property without a warrant and allegedly seized 88 firearms, 2 of which could be linked to homicides by ballistic evidence. Hank's defense lawyer, told the judge that all was political Frameup to prevent him from running for the 2013 state elections, being most of the weapons were planted by the military. The federal judge ruled that the raid was performed without a warrant, and that all evidence against Hank was inadmissible. No formal charges of any crime have ever successfully been leveled against him."  Source: Wikipedia.

The casino-sportsbook-dogtrack (pictured above, at the old Agua Caliente (Horse) Racetrack) is officially called "Casino & Racetrack Caliente" or just "Caliente Casino," and here is the web site for it.  It provides the formal address, room rates, telephone number, map, etc.  The website for the Caliente holding company that owns numerous  Caliente Casinos throughout Mexico is here.
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339.  Google satellite map of today's Casino-Sports Book-Dog Track (named "Hipodromo [Racetrack] Agua Caliente" on the map) and sports stadium ("Estadio Caliente" on the map).  Both are located on the grounds of the famous old Agua Caliente rack track -- location #17 on the map at the top of this page.  The old Agua Caliente hotel (now demolished) was at the red teardrop on the map here.
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340.  TRACK #5 ("Hipodromo [Racetrack] de Agua Caliente," 2007 built - present).    View of dog track from inside "grandstands"-sports book. c. 2013.  (Source)
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341.  View from racetrack "grandstands" across dog track to Estadio Caliente stadium
.  c. 2014.  (Source)
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342.  Model of the planned stadium.  The actual stadium is constantly being added to.  The current seating capacity (in May 2014) is 21,000.  The "target" seating capacity is33,333.  (Source.)  That link will discuss the building of the stadium and shows pictures of the Estadio Caliente over the years.  "Construction of the stadium where a public pond used to be started in 2007 and the Benue was opened in November that year. Initially with capacity at 13,333 people it had one tier of stands based on land slope, U-shaped, with northern end open. Already then it was clear that the venue will grow further."
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343.  Proof that there is live gambling inside Caliente Casino at the Hipodromo Agua Caliente (Agua Caliente Racertrack). c. 2013.  (source)
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344.  Another Caliente Casino in Tijuana?  At first, finding these places confused me.  And then I learned that the enterprise has many "Caliente Casinos" spread across Mexico, about 20 inTijuana alone.  Each has sports book electronic terminals and gambling machines. Click here to read about it at the Company's home page.  More here about the Caliente casinos.

The top-most one, photographed in April 2009,  is at Av Revolucion 907, near Carrillo Puerto Y/o Tercera, about 2 miles from the largest Caliente Casino at the "Hipodromo [Racetrack] Agua Caliente."  The signs over the entrance, above, read, in English!, "Caliente ... ... Race and Sports Books. ... . .  Bingo." (Source.)

The bottom pictured one is at Blvd. Insurgentes #1815 Locales 1A-5A, Centro Comercial Macroplaza Fracc. del Río 3a. Etapa La mesa, 22235, Tijuana (source).
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345.  The first three chips were taken from illegal (bribed officials) blackjack games at  Caliente, in 2014.  The chips are in Mexican pesos, even with the dollar sign!  100 pesos  = $7.66  (March 2014). ... .... The last two chips (500 and 1000, also both in pesos) were sent to me in October 2014.



4. SPA BUILDING --  with swimming pool and bath house -- all from the time of the famous resort (1928-1935).  Note the near-by minarete.     back
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400.  Montage of Agua Caliente spa scenes from Pacific Pactorial.  Click here for an enlarged picture.
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401.  The Spa is at location 3 on this map.
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401a.  The Spa building, which housed the spa, swimming pool, baths, gym, massage, etc.
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402.  Main entrance on south side of the Spa-Pool-Bathhouse building.
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403.  The 150-foot-tall minaret was actually the smokestack from the boiler room.
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403a.  Spa building again, from an old photo.
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403b.  Entrance to Spa building.  Real Photo Post Card.
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404.  The four sides of the pool.  Rarely seen aerial view of  the Spa-Pool-Bath House complex.  I obtained this screen shot from this YouTube video.  The ornate entrance-tower is in the lower-right section of the picture.  Rectangular-shaped pool is in the center.  The minaret would be at the upper-left, but is obscured.
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405.  The four sides of the pool.  Another great
aerial view of  the Spa-Pool-Bath House complex.  The main entrance is at lower-right, the minaret is clearly seen at the left, and the auto garage is at the right. The open-air pool is in the center of the building.  (Source.)
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406.  A different view of the Bath House-Spa.  The main entrance (on south side) is on the right here.
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407. View of the Spa from the Corridor of the Hotel Entrance Wing.
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408.  Spa lobby.
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408a.  Close-up of the above postcard.  Note the names on the shops.
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408b.  Price list for facilities at Agua Caliente, mainly of the Spa (admission to Plunge, massage, etc.), but also for other nearby facilities (Gym, billiards, tennis and handball courts, etc.).  Click  here for the cover of the price list, and click here for an enlarged picture of the above price list.
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409.   NORTH side of pool (left) - EAST end of the pool (middle, background) - SOUTH side of pool (right).  This scene of the pool is from a panorama postcard of the National Scenic Co.  Be sure to click here for a larger view of this great postcard!
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409a.  NORTH side of pool (left) - EAST end of the pool (middle, background) - SOUTH side of pool (right).  From an old photo.
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410.  NORTH side of pool (on the right here).  (The WEST end of the pool is in the background on the left -- the end where the fountain-statue is.)
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411.  NORTH side of pool.  (The WEST end of the pool is on the left -- the end where the fountain-statue is.) (Source.)
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412.  NORTH side of the pool (on the left here).   (The EAST end is in the background, on the right.)
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413.  NORTH side of the pool .  Notice, in center of picture, woman diving through the air.  Very pretty postcard.
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414.  SOUTH side of the pool.  Note two things in this rare photograph: (1) "Most of the people are in their finery: hats, dresses, jackets, neckties."; and (2) at the upper-right we see the peaked entrance tower of the entrance to the Spa building, proving that the large iconic mosaic arch is on the opposite side of the main Spa building. (Source.)
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414a.  SOUTH side of the pool.   Real Photo Post Card.
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415.  Entire SOUTH side of the pool.  (Source: here, here.)
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416.   The SOUTH side of the pool.
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417.    The SOUTH side of the pool.
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418.   The WEST end of the pool , in the background (the end where the statue is).
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419.  Original Minaret today.  Behind it is the Plaza Aguacaliente & Grand Hotel Tijuana (commonly known by locals as Las Torres), a high-rise complex of twin skyscrapers in Tijuana, Mexico. With a height of 295 feet to the top floor, and 28 stories, they were the tallest buildings in Tijuana and Baja California upon completion in 1982 and were among the first skyscrapers constructed in the city.   Some say the minaret was "a former chimney for an incinerator." It is said to offer "incredible" views from the top.

"The history-minded still cringe over demolition 30 years ago of premier landmark, the Agua Caliente resort and casino of the 1920s and 1930s, to make room for a school. The few remaining pieces include a 200-foot minaret and swimming pool where Hollywood stars once lounged. A trademark arched bell tower exists only as a replica downtown." (Per LA Times, August 2000.)



5. BELL TOWER -- THEN AND NOW                                                                 back

501. 1933 photo of famous landmark Agua Caliente Campanile, Chimes Tower.  Note the sign with arrow that says "Hotel Agua Caliente." The 85-foot Campanile ("bell tower" in Italian) served at least four purposes: bell tower, beacon for the air strip, entrance sign from the road, and icon of the resort.  (The original Tower was destroyed many years ago.  Only a replica tower exists today, and at a different location.)

Here is a wonderful photo of the Bell Tower taken from the entrance of the Hotel!  (It is usually taken the other way: the bell Tower in for foreground and the Hotel in the distance.)

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501a.  From a Real Photo Postcard of the resort period.
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501b.  Another Real Photo Post Card of that period.
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501c.  Bell Tower as viewed from the hotel entrance.  Real Photo Post Card.
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501d.  Hotel Entrance as viewed from the Bell Tower -- the opposite view of 501c, above!  Real Photo Post Card.
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501e.  Main auto road from San Diego leading to the Bell Tower.  (Now called Agua Caliente Blvd.) Real Photo Post Card.  Rare.
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501f.  Hotel entrance as viewed from the Bell Tower, as seen in a stereoscope viewer.
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502. Very artistic.  Note the white Hotel entrance in the background, down the road.
AguaBell022014.jpg 503. Looks like Casino and Bungalows in the background.  The large white structure at upper-left near the margin looks like the end of the front Entrance-South Wing of the Hotel.  Same scene with a plane on this postcard .
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504.  Bell Tower.  Again, Hotel Entrance is white structure near the left margin.  Casino complex is seen on the postcard between the Entrance and the Tower.  The bungalows are to the right of the Tower
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505.  Bell Tower, next to Golf Clubhouse.  This postcard was published by the Agua Caliente Co.
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506. Note the Hotel sign.
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507. This is a picture of the original Bell Tower, but after the Hotel-Casino was closed down in 1935-37. After the resort was destroyed, its grounds were used for a very large school.  The Bell Tower remained in place as a marker for the school.  The sign in the picture says, in Spanish, "School Center, Agua Caliente."  (The original Bell Tower was destroyed years ago.)
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508.   Real Photo Postcard of the "Old Tower of Agua Caliente" after the property was apprpriated for a school.   The Bell Tower remained in place as a marker for the school.  The sign in the picture says, in Spanish, "School Center, Agua Caliente."
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508a.  Another Real Photo PostCard of the Tower.
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509. The replica Tower today ( a replica built three miles west of the original site) --  at the end of the Revolution Avenue and Boulevard Agua Caliente and converted back to one of the symbols of the city.

The original Bell Tower was destroyed years ago: "The history-minded still cringe over demolition 30 years ago of premier landmark, the Agua Caliente resort and casino of the 1920s and 1930s, to make room for a school. The few remaining pieces include a 200-foot minaret and swimming pool where Hollywood stars once lounged. A trademark arched bell tower exists only as a replica downtown." (Per Los Angeles Times article, Aug 2000.)
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510.  The replica Bell Tower today.
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511.  The replica Tower today



6. HOLLYWOOD AND OTHER CELEBRITIES AT AGUA CALIENTE; AND SCENES OF THE RESORT FROM MOVIES MADE ON LOCATION THERE                                back
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600.  Montage shows celebrities from various countries who have visited Agua Caliente.  Click here to see a much larger pictureMore  Agua Caliente photos and celebrity montage pictures (golfers, horse race people, swimmers, etc.) of "Pacific Pictorial" magazine are on this page .
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601.  Another montage from Pacific Pictorial, this one exclusively of Hollywood personalities at Agua Caliente.  Click here for an enlarged picture.
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602.
  Be sure to see this below here! Agua Caliente Menu Cover shows caricatures of the Hollywood elite who visited the place, drawn by Xavier Cugat!  Many of the caricatures are identified below.  Can you add any names?
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603.  1932 Press Photo: Western movie star Tom Mix at Agua Caliente Wishing Well at  Casino Entranceon honeymoon with family.
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604.  Actors at Agua Caliente in January 1933 (left to right):  Ernest Truex, Carole Lombard, Mrs. Truex and William Powell.  Lombard and Powell, married then, divorced later that year.
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604a.  William Powell with then-wife Carole Lombard at Agua Caliente, 1933, probably in the Jockey Club at the Racetrack there.
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605.  Left to right: Mrs. Peter De Rees, sister to Mrs. Richard Barthelmess, William Powell and Gary Cooper -- among those at the supper room of the Hotel Agua Caliente on the eve of the great Agua Caliente Handicap, April 5, 1933.
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606  Gary Cooper watching the races at Agua Caliente, 1933.
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607.  Cary Grant, and with him, Mrs. Grant, Virginia Cherrill, enjoying themselves to the utmost in an Agua Caliente holiday, 1933 photo.  Cheryl was Grant’s first wife, married 1934-35.  I wondered about the IDs in the photo, but they seem correct: I checked Google images of the names, and that is Cherrill, and that looks like pictures of Grant at age 29.
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608.  "Here’s a scan from Sidney Skolsky’s "This Was Hollywood" showing Henri de la Falaise, actress Constance Bennett, and actor Gilbert Roland relaxing in 1933 at the Agua Caliente Hotel ..., Mexico. At the time Bennett was married to de la Falaise. They divorced in 1940 and the next year she married Roland. Knowing that really gives her devilish little smile a deeper meaning, don’t you think?" Source.
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609.  Lupe Velez, Mexican-American actress nicknamed "The Mexican Spitfire" and husband Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan movie actor and Olympics swimming star, often visited Agua Caliente.  (source)  They were married 1933-39.
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609a.   Lupe Velez, Mexican-American actress nicknamed "The Mexican Spitfire" and husband Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan movie actor and Olympics swimming star, dancing at the resort, per  International News Photos, Inc, December 27, 1932.  Teletype on back of photo says, "Many celebrities and film notables spent their Christmas Eve at  the Hotel Agua Caliente."
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609b.  Joan Bennett and Raoul Walsh celebrate the New Year on Jan. 1, 1933 at the Agua Caliente.
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610.  Jack Oakie, Frances and James Cagney, and Joan Marsh at Agua Caliente dinner party Jan 1932 (left to right).
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611.  "Jean Harlow dines with her mother and stepfather at Agua Caliente in Mexico in 1933."
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612. Jean Harlow and Stepfather Marino Bello at the Agua Caliente Racecourse, 1933.
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613.  Actress Jean Harlow teeing off on the Agua Caliente golf course, January 05, 1933.
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613a.  Jean Harlow, on the right, with friends Johnny and Ruth Hamp pose for a Tijuana souvenir photo in the 1930s.  (Johnny Hamp was a band leader, and his wife Ruth inherited the rights to Harlow's unpublished manuscript, "Today Is Tonight," from Harlow's mother Jean Harlow Bello and subsequently published the romance novel in 1965.) (source.)
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614.  Clark Gable with family at Agua Caliente, 1933.  This candid photo is part of a collection of Agua Caliente pictures owned by the son of an Agua Calinte official who worked there from the start to when it closed in 1935, and then continued working at the Agua Caliente Racetrack till 1949.  It was taken at the Casino's Patio Dining Room. The back of the picture says, "Clark Gable and family in Patio."
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615.  1934 Press Photo of "Beverly Hills," racehorse owned by Clark Gable, wins race at Agua Caliente racetrack.  Track grandstands is in background.
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616.  Director De Mille and friends (the Wesley Ruggles) watching Gallant Sir win the April 2, 1933, Agua Caliente Handicap in record time, the year after Phar Lap had won it in record time. (Source.)
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616a.  Craig Wood, Ruth Elder and Joseph Schenck (l to r) at Christmas Eve at the resort, December 27, 1932, press photo of International News.  Wood was an American professional golfer, the winner of 21 PGA Tour titles and a member of three Ryder Cup teams.  Elder was a famous celebrity aviation pioneer and actress.  Schenck was one of the most powerful people in the film business.  A Russian immigrant, he bought Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey,  partnered in the Loews movie chain, was president of United Artists and co-created Twentieth Century Pictures, later to merge with Fox Film Corporation.
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617.  "Mae Clarke, a screen and stage star, and her escort, Dr. B. Blank, are seen at their table in the Agua Caliente Hotel in Mexico, during the party on New Year's Eve, attended by scores of the film colony in 1934."
(Source.)
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618. Mae Clarke with new husband Steven Bancroft, Pan-American Airways pilot, days after they were married in Agua Caliente.  Photo is dated 09-16-1937.  Clarke was in many movies, most remembered as the bride of Frankenstein in James Whale's Frankenstein (1931), and having a grapefruit pushed into her face by James Cagney in The Public Enemy (1931).
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619.  Pretty Alice White, famous movie actress, muses over her next bet, as her husband, Sidney Bartlett, looks at the ponies going around Agua Caliente, January 5, 1933, photo.  (He was a writer and producer, known for Twelve O'Clock High (1949) and The Big Country (1958).  An Air Force bombardier during World War II, Bartlett was in the lead plane of the first bombing mission over Berlin in March of [1943].)
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620.  Marian Marsh (center) was off to the races with Howard Hughes on Christmas, 1932, south of the border in Agua Caliente.  "Hughes, who escorted Marsh to the opening day of the Agua Caliente races on Christmas Day, 1932, added her to the long string of young women the quirky millionaire was photographed with during his lifetime. According to the actress, however, there was no romance, though that never stopped the press from speculating on the young woman's alleged beaus."  (Source.)
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621.  Howard Hughes (left) again at Agua Caliente, here with actress Ruth Elder and golfer Leo Diegel (1932).  (Hughes was the millionaire motion picture producer and aviator.)
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621a.  Eleanor Holm, Howard Hughes, Sandra Shaw, and Carl Laemmle Jr (l to r) at Jan. 3, 1933, New Years Eve party at Agua Caliente Hotel.  Holm was an Olympic swimming gold medalist.  She appeared in one Tarzan movie and went on to have a high-profile celebrity career as a socialite and interior designer.  Hughes is the famous industrialist, aviator, film producer and multi-millionaire. Shaw (also known as Veronica Cooper) was a film actress and wife of Gary Cooper (1933 - 1961, his death).  Laemmle was the son of the founder of Universal Studios, and he was head of production from 1926 to 1936.
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622.  Screen stars Bruce Cabot (best remembered as Jack Driscoll in King Kong (1933) and for his roles in many John Wayne films) and Adrienne Ames at the Agua Caliente Spa in 1933.  They were unmarried then.
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622a.   Bruce Cabot and Adrienne Ames at the Agua Caliente resort, 1934.  (Source.)  They were married 1933-1937.
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623.  Oliver Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy fame) at Agua Caliente Racetrack in 1938 (source).
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623a. Comedian Oliver Hardy playing golf at Agua Caliente in the 1930s; note the famed iconic Agua Caliente landmark tower in the background. (source.)
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624.  Nancy Carroll
(left) at Agua Caliente Racetrack.  Coming out of the end of the silent era, Carroll continued to be a big success throughout the 1930's, expanding her range as a flaming flapper, ditsy comedienne or as a sensitive heroine.  In those earliest years of the thirties, Nancy was a major hit with the public and critics alike. She was said to receive more fan mail than any other Hollywood star.  Carroll’s career largely escapes notice today because the bulk of her work was done for Paramount, including 25 of her first 31 films. Those movies, now owned by Universal, are rarely shown on television or released to video. (Sources: here, here and here.)
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625.  Charlie Chaplin in public at Agua Caliente racetrack,Tijuana,Mexico, circa 1935, in YouTube video.
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626.  January 1933: Raquel Torres (1908-87), sexy Mexican-born actress; Buddy De Sylva (1895-50), composer; and Henry Henderson (right) are seen here at their table in the Aqua Caliente Hotel, Agua Caliente, Mexico, where they celebrated New Year's Eve… .. .. De Sylva was a noted American songwriter, film producer and record executive.  He wrote songs for and with Al Jolson, George Gershwin, Ray Henderson and others in Tin Pan Alley, and co-founded Capital Records.
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627.  Rita Hayworth pictured in advertisement for the resort.    Rita was working with her father dancing at Agua Caliente during its heyday when she was “discovered” by gossip columnist Louella Parsons and Fox studio head Winfield Sheehan.  On January 25, 1935, Margarita Cansino (Hayworth’s name then) signed a $200 a week six month Fox Studios contract.  (Source.)  ... ... Note "Races every Sunday" in the ad.  Sunday racing was a big attraction for the resort since California prohibited Sunday racing until 1973.)
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628.  Rita Hayworth, then Marguerita Carmen Cansino, 16 years old in this 1934 picture. "It was on a stage in Agua Caliente, Mexico, that a Fox Film Company producer spotted the 16-year-old dancer and inked her to a contract" (source).   She was born in Brooklyn NY.  In 1927, her father brought the family to Hollywood.  In 1931, Eduardo Cansino partnered with his 12-year-old daughter to form an act called the Dancing Cansinos.  Since under California law Margarita was too young to work in nightclubs and bars, her father took her with him to work across the border in Tijuana, Mexico.. 
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629.  Mae West at the Agua Caliente Racetrack.  (Source.)
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630.  Harpo Marx and actress Susan Fleming having a beer in the Agua Caliente casino in 1933.  The back of the photo mentions that Susan broke precedent when she entered the casino in shorts.  Harpo, of course, was one of the famous Marx brothers comedy team.  Susan (1908-2002) was famous mostly for (1) appearing in the movie "Million Dollar Legs," and  as part of a publicity stunt for the film, her legs were insured for the eponymous million dollars; and (2) her pursuing  Harpo relentlessly, dating for four years and proposing marriage to him on three separate occasions before he accepted. She ended her Hollywood career when she married Marx in 1936.  She happily doted on him, until his death in 1964, his children and civic affairs.
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631. Famous comedian  BUSTER KEATON (left) is pictured with California's JUDGE GEORGE W. SCHILLING in the steward's pagoda of the CALIENTE RACE TRACK.  (Schilling was Presiding Steward over the Agua Caliente racetrack and some California racetracks.)
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632.  "filmstar Polly Moran enjoys time at Agua Caliente," per eBay auction 291590152744 of abcdvdvideo.  (Moran was famous as a world-wide vaudeville entertainer, Mack Sennett silent-era comedienne and Marie Dressler co-star.)
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632a.  Actor Victor Mature, 45, and his bride, British actress Adrienne Joy Urwick, 25, wed in a civil ceremony in the apartment of John Alessio, general manager of the Caliente Racetrack. Press photo dated 12-14-1959.  (His 4th of 5 wives; marriage lasted 10 years.)
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632b.  William Collier Jr and Marie Prevost at Agua Caliente Racetrack in 1933.
He appeared in 89 silent and sound films, often as leading man, and retired from films in 1932 to produce films.  She appeared in 121 silent and talking pictures, often as a leading lady.  She had been a  Mack Sennett "Bathing Beauty," and was a favorite of director Ernst Lubitsch.
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632c.  Diana Seaby and director Alf Goulding follow the Invitation Race at Agua Caliente; February 1933.  He was an Australian-born vaudevillian, who became an American film director and screenwriter. He directed 182 films between 1917 and 1959.  She, his wife for a time, was a film actress.  (source.)
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633.   1933 Press Photo  of Hall of Fame golfer Leo Diegel and wife Violet Bird at Agua Caliente Handicap.  Diegel was gof pro at Agua Caliente (1929-34).
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634.  Bebe Daniels, Leo Diegel and Ben Lyon  (left to right) at Agua Caliente golf club -- candid photo 1933.  Note the iconic Bell Tower in the distance.  Bebe Daniels was an American actress (quite famous, in many movies including "42nd Street"), singer, dancer, writer and producer.  Short biography of her here.  She was married to actor/studio executive Lyon.  Leo Diegel was an American professional golfer of the 1920s and early 1930s. He captured consecutive PGA Championships, played on the first four Ryder Cup teams, and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
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635.  WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1934 at Agua Caliente Pool.  The WAMPAS Baby Stars was a promotional campaign sponsored by the United States Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers, which honored thirteen young actresses under contract at major studios each year whom they believed to be on the threshold of movie stardom. The campaign ran from 1922 to 1934.  The seven Baby Stars here (with the bartender) are Naomi Judge, Helen Chaeburn, Hazel Hayes, Jean Carmen, Jean Gale, Judith Arlen and LuAnn Meredith. In other years some Baby Stars rose to major stardom, like Clara Bow, Dolores del Rio, Mary Astor, Ginger Rogers and Joan Crawford, to name just a few. (Source, Wikipedia.  At the bottom of the Wikipedia page, there is a complete list of the WAMPAS Baby Stars selected each year.)
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636.  Ruby Keeler,  and husband  Al Jolson (hidden by horse's head),  decorating "Scot's Gray," winner of the Inaugural Handicap, feature race at the opening day of the new $2,000,000 Agua Caliente Racetrack, December 28, 1929. 
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637.  1933 Press Photo Carole Lombard & Gallant Sir After Win at Agua Caliente.  Gallant Sir won two consecutive runnings of the Agua Caliente Handicap, the first as a four-year-old on April 2, 1933, when he broke the Agua Caliente track record set by Phar Lap the previous year.  "Initially run as the Coffroth Handicap at Tijuana Race Course in 1917 and from 1921-1929, the Coffroth H. was renamed the Agua Caliente Handicap with the closure of Tijuana and the opening of Agua Caliente Racetrack in 1930. The Agua Caliente H. was run at Agua Caliente from 1930-1934 and in 1938, before being run once more in 1958 as the Caliente Handicap." (source.)
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638.  Bing Crosby and Seabiscuit at the Agua Caliente Handicap in March 27, 1938 (source).  He presented the winner's trophy to Seabiscuit, pictured here.  Later that year, November 1, 1938, Seabiscuit triumphed in the "Match Race of the Century," at Pimlico Race Track,  against 1937 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year War Admiral, the favorite.  Seabiscuit was named 1938's Horse of the Year.  In his match race against War Admiral, Seabiscuit  wore the same saddle Phar Lap wore in his last (famous) race, the Agua Caliente Handicap.
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638a.  More Seabiscuit.  "American thoroughbred Seabiscuit, with jockey "Spec" Richardson up, is shown in the victory circle after winning the $12,500 Agua Caliente Handicap at Agua Caliente, Mexico, March 27, 1938. Standing, left to right, are, trainer Tom Smith, next to Seabiscuit; Seabiscuit; owner Charles S. Howard; screen actress Arline Judge; and singer-actor Bing Crosby". (sourseJudge was an American actress who worked mostly in low-budget B movies, but gained some fame for marrying and divorcing seven times.
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639.  Actor Antonio Moreno (left) next to jockey George Woolf, who had just won the first Agua Caliente Handicap in April 1930.  Moreno was quite famous. He was a leading man during the silent movie period, a leading "Latin Lover," predating even Valentino's fame.  His career as a leading man and character actor lasted over 40 years.  He played opposite numerous stars such as Gloria Swanson, Pola Negri, Greta Garbo, Clara Bow, John Wayne, an endless list of classy stars and A-list movies. (Read about him here.) ..... ....  Woolf became one of the premier jockeys of his era; he was known by fellow jockeys and fans as "The Iceman", and is most famous for riding Seabiscuit.  (Read about him here. )
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650 [new numbering sequence].  "The Champ," the 1931 movie made on location at Agua Caliente.  Picture 1 --  Jackie Cooper (at wheel) and  Wallace Beery (right) driving by the iconic Bell Tower in this award-winning film.   See a video trailer of the movie here.  "In an Academy Award-winning "Best Actor" performance, burly Wallace Beery - he of the fog-cutter voice and gruff warmth - plays the washed-up prizefighter making a ring comeback to provide for his son."  It won oscars for Best Actor and Best Story.  It was nominated for Best Picture and Director.  Reviews and videos  herehere, here, here, and  here.  The film was remade in 1979 starring Jon Voight.
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651.  "The Champ."  Picture 2  --   Jackie Cooper and  Wallace Beery,  again from the same movie, "The Champ."  See above.  The movie was filmed on location at Agua Caliente.  Here they are in front of the famous hotel entrance.  Click here to see them at the Racetrack.
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652.  "In Caliente," the 1935 movie made on location at Agua Caliente.    The above picture and the following fourteen are from the "In Caliente" musical comedy filmed at the resort.  It is a must-see movie for those interested in Agua Caliente, and is also enjoyable mainly for Busby Berkeley's production numbers, "Muchacha'' (singing and dancing by Dolores del Rio and Phil Regan), and "The Lady in Red'' (sung by Wini Shaw, with a novelty chorus by Judy Canova), and The DeMarcos dancing.  The other stars are Edward Everett Horton and Pat O'Brien.  There are many scenes of the resort including all the major builings and even guest rooms and hotel hallways.

Click here to see the trailer of the movie, which includes some brief gambling scenes.  As of this writing, you can see the entire movie for free by going to YouTube and watching it in 9 parts (that is, nine separate videos, entitled " Dolores del Rio In Caliente 1935 1," " Dolores del Rio In Caliente 1935 2," etc.).   Click here for The DeMarcos' dancing number.  Here for 13 minutes of musical interludes from the movie, ending with the  "The Lady In Red" number.  Here or here for Dolores del Rio's "Muchacha" number.

Picture 1 (above) -- Just before Horton and O'Brien drive up, there is the above shot of the iconic Hotel Entrance.  Note that there is a neon sign, "Hotel Agua Caliente."
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653.
 "In Caliente," picture 2 --  The above scene shows Edward Everett Horton (far left) instructing the porters to carry sleepy Pat O'Brien into the hotel building. The casino building is in the background. 
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654.
 "In Caliente," picture 3 --  Here O'Brien is being carried past the famous hotel entrance, followed by Horton.
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655.  "In Caliente," picture 4 --   Here Horton is running in the courtyard.  In the background is part of the rarely seen South Wing from the courtyard side.
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656.
 "In Caliente,"picture  5 --   Here O'Brien is carried along the hotel courtyard's Avenue of Palms.  The North Wing entrance from the courtyard is in the background.  The woman is Dolores Del Rio, who is named first in the credits.
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657.  "In Caliente," picture 6 --  Here is Leo Carrillo, who plays del Rio's uncle in the movie.  Behind him is the center of the rarely seen South (or Entrance) Wing entrance from the courtyard side.
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658.  "In Caliente," picture  7 -- Here del Rio, in the courtyard,  is walking down the Avenue of Palms towards the South (Entrance) Wing.  In the background is the East Wing of the hotel.
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659.  "In Caliente," picture  8 --  Here O'Brien and Horton are walking to the casino.  Note the famous Wishing Well.
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660.  "In Caliente," picture 9 --  There are no dramatic scenes with the named actors inside the Casino, just some quick travelogue-like shots when the story reaches Agua Caliente.
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661.  "In Caliente," picture  10 --   Here Horton and O'Brien are at the Casino's Patio Dining Room.
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662.  "In Caliente," picture 11 --  The iconic Bell Tower, seen as the stars/guests (O'Brien and Horton) drive up to the hotel entrance.
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663.  "In Caliente," picture 12 --   Here Horton is in front of the Spa building.
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664. "In Caliente," picture 13 --
 Dolores del Rio diving at the resort's "olympic size" swimming pool.  Pat O'Brien is standing on the diving board.  (Trivia note: In 1933,  alongside Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their first pairing, del Rio appeared in "Flying Down to Rio."  Supposedly this film is the first that showed a woman [del Rio] wearing a two-piece bathing suit.  She is wearing a two-piece suit diving here, but the movement makes it hard to see, but you can here.)
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665.  "In Caliente," picture 14 --
  Horton at the resort's championship golf course.  The Agua Caliente Golf Clubhouse is in the background.
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666.  "In Caliente," picture 15 -- Del Rio and O'Brien at one of the Agua Caliente bungalows.  She had expressly invited him for "cocktails in my bungalow."
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667.  Kay Francis and William Powell in "One Way Passage" (1932).  The last unforgettable minute of this fine movie takes place in a bar in Agua Caliente, and none of the credited actors appears!  Why?  See the movie.   "One Way Passage is a thrilling little 67 minute film from Warner Brothers that tells the story of an intense shipboard romance on the march towards death for a doomed woman and a condemned man. ...  [It is] is a classic 3 hankie weeper. If you have even a hint of romance in your soul you will be touched by this timeless love story. Before the lovers part they promise to meet on New Year’s Eve at a nightclub, Agua Caliente in Mexico. The bittersweet final scene will tug at your heart strings and bring, perhaps, a wistful smile to your lips." ... ...  Powell, of course, is universally remembered today as a great star.  Francis, largely forgotten, during the 1930s was the number one female star at Warner Brothers studio.

Some video clips and trailers, and reviews: here, here. here and here.
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668.  "Dime With a Halo" (1963), a 94-minute B-movie filmed in part  in Tijuana, a charming touching comedy about children betting at the Agua Caliente Track.  "In the hope of winning a fortune, five Tijuana street urchins pool their meager earnings each week in order to buy a $2 ticket at the Caliente racetrack.  Friendly American Mr. Jones places their bets, although he disapproves of their selections. ... After losing for 11 consecutive weeks, the boys decide to make Jesus a partner in their venture [for luck]. They steal [actually, borrow] a dime from the church poor box, add it to their cash, place their bet (the famous 5-10 [Pick 6] bet, a Caliente first!), and win $81,513. But they cannot find Mr. Jones, and they refuse to trust any other adult to cash the ticket for them. Juanita, the sister of one of the boys, contacts Jones in Los Angeles, and he promises to drive down the next day. But as he approaches the pay window he suffers a fatal heart attack, and the ticket blows off into a pile of rubbish. After a futile search for the lost ticket, the five boys return to the church and replace the dime they had "borrowed" from the poor box." (Source.)  It was the last movie issued by the Hal Roach Studios.  It garnered quite favorable reviews.  Largely Latin cast.  IMDb listingOriginal trailer.  You can see the entire movie online for free here.



7. MISCELLANEOUS                                                                                                         back
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701.  The Border Barons, from left: James Crofton, John Mills (San Diego real estate operator; not one of the "Barons"), Wirt G. Bowman, and Baron Long.  Picture taken at the dedication ceremonies of the $2 million Agua Caliente Racetrack,which would open December 28, 1929.
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701a.  Rates per ad in 1930 San Diego "Tourist" guide-magazine.  Note the recommended pronunciation of "Agua Caliente."
AguaBrg050514.jpg   702.  Tijuana auto bridge crossing the Tijuana River to reach Agua Caliente,  time of Agua Caliente heyday.
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702a.  Same bridge as above: El Puente Bridge, of the period of the resort. From Real Photo Postcard.
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703.  Garage at Agua Caliente. It is at location 6 on this map.
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703a.   1928 Group of American Tourists Tijuana Mexico,  - Early Real Photo Card
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704.  Golf Club. Many photos of the golf course here.  The golf course and club house are at location 12 on this map and location 9 on this mapThe Agua Caliente course became part of the PGA events in the January 1930 season.  It offered greater prizes than any other golf event in history.  But declining fortunes caused it to leave the tour in 1958.  But the same course has reopened this year (2018) as a PGA event, operating as "The Country Club of Tijuana."!
Click here to see an article about the history of the famous gold course.

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705.  Golf Club.
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706.  Golf Club shown near the Bell Tower.
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706a.  Montage of golf scenes and golf stars at the Agua Caliente championship golf course.  Click here for an enlarged picture.
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706b.  1933 Photo of Paul Runyan, star professional golfer, who had just won the annual golf championship at Agua Caliente. Runyan (July 12, 1908 – March 17, 2002) was among the world's best players in the mid-1930s, he won two PGA Championships, and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Runyan was also a noted golf instructor and golf author.
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707.  1933 Press Photo of Gene Sarazen putting on 19th Green at Agua Caliente Golf Links.  Iconic Bell Tower in background.  In 1930 he had won the Agua Caliente Open.  He was one of the world's top players in the 1920s and 1930s.  He is one of five golfers (along with Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods) to win all the current major championships in his career, the Career Grand Slam: U.S. Open, PGA Championship,  The Open Championship and Masters Tournament.    In 2000, Sarazen was ranked as the 11th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.
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707a.  Gene Sarazen (with a couple of models) looks over his $10,000 check for winning rich Agua Caliente Open golf tourney, January 24, 1930.
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707b.  Gene Sarazen (winner of first Agua Caliente Golf Open, 1930), John Golden (1931 winner), Fred Morrison (1932 winner, being crowned), and Betty Bowman (daughter of resort co-owner Wirt Bowman) (left to right).  More info on the back of this  Associated Press 1932 photo.
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707c.   Golfer Horton Smith at the 1935 Agua Caliente Open.  He won numerous golf tournaments, including the first and third Masters in 1934 and 36.   (In September 2013, Horton's green jacket, awarded in 1949 for his Masters wins in 1934 and 1936, sold at auction for over $682,000, the highest price ever paid for a piece of golf memorabilia.)
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707d.  "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias playing golf at the Agua Caliente course, in July 1933.   A renowned  all-around American athlete, "she won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics, before turning to professional golf and winning 10 LPGA major championships.  She won 17 straight women's amateur victories, a feat never equaled by anyone. By 1950, she had won every golf title available. Totaling both her amateur and professional victories, Zaharias won a total of 82 golf tournaments. Charles McGrath of The New York Times wrote of Zaharias, 'Except perhaps for Arnold Palmer, no golfer has ever been more beloved by the gallery.'" (Wikipedia source)
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707e.  LEGENDARY GOLFER BOBBY JONES (left) GETTING READY TO AWARD WINNING JOCKEY AT CALIENTE RACE TRACK IN MEXICO. HE IS ON THE VICTORY STAND WITH M. BEBEE AND G. SCHILLING. 1931. .. ... Jones was an American amateur golfer, and a lawyer by profession, who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. He was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete at a national and international level. During his peak from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition, and competed very successfully against the world's best professional golfers. .. ... Schilling was Presiding Steward over the Agua Caliente racetrack and Placing Judge.
AguaBung031414.jpg  708. Guest bungalow.  The bungalows are at location 11 on this map.  The picture is based on  a painting by John Paul Burnham.  Many bear his printed signature. The back of many such postcards say, “Agua Caliente villa as seen from across the miniature laguna, under the cooling shade of ancient trees from which fern-filled ollas [ceramic jars] hang.”
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708a.  Guest Bungalows (called "Cottages" here).  This is a tinted postcard issued by the Agua Caliente Co., the owner of the resort.
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709.  Sunken Gardens at Jockey Club at Racetrack.
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710.  The resort had its own airstrip.  Maddux Airlines Ford Trimotor at Agua Caliente airport.  Note the landmark Bell Tower at the right.    The airfield is at location 4 on this map.
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711.  Ruth Blaney Alexander (1905 –1930) was a female aviation pioneer in the United States.  Many of her flights were sponsored by Agua Caliente and she was paid to make public appearances at the resort.  Among her feats: she was the first to cross the Pacific coast of the US without touching ground; and she established a new world record in light planes (both men and women) of 26,600 feet.  She died as her plane crashed soon after trying to make a cross continental flight from San Diego to New York, with only a stop in Wichita, Kansas, en route.

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711a.  Wreckage of Maddux Airlines flight 7 that crashed near Oceanside California in 1930. Photo by Photocraft Co of New Haven CT. Maddux Air Lines was an airline based in Southern California that operated Ford Tri-motors in California, Arizona, and Mexico in the late 1920s. On January 19, 1930 TAT-Maddux Flight Number 7, a Ford 5-AT-C Tri-Motor crashed north of Oceanside, California. Flying from the races at Agua Caliente, near Tijuana, Mexico to Los Angeles, the plane encountered rain, low clouds, fog, and possibly engine problems. The pilots were attempting to turn around and/or land when they misjudged the aircraft’s height off the ground and the left wing struck the ground, slamming the aircraft into the ground, which subsequently caught fire. Both pilots and all 14 passengers aboard died in the crash. Charles Lindbergh, as chairman of TAT-Maddux’s technical committee, was involved in the investigation and made an aerial inspection of the crash site after the disaster.
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712.  Ad in The Hollywood Reporter newspaper, November 10, 1933, for Agua Caliente floor show starring Renee Villon, fan dancer.  Note that rooms at Agua Caliente were advertised for $5.50 single occupancy, which included dinner. Ms. Villon was a stripper of some note (see here and here).  One of her claims to fame was when, in New York, she performed a dance routine called "Gone With the Wind" in which an electric fan blew off her clothes.  Margaret Mitchell, the author of the famous book, threatened a law suit (which became moot after Villon left town) that inspired much newspaper ridicule.
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713.  Fenton Glass Company's "Agua Caliente" pattern, named after the resort. The pattern was introduced in 1931, during the resort's operation and popularity.  Collectors often refer to it as the Georgian pattern.  The advertisement above exclaims: "The Glassware That Agua Caliente Made Famous."  Note the Mexican scene in the ad, which is from a 1932 catalog.
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714.  Vintage Dinner Plate, "The Don", Agua Caliente Set, by "O.J. Lafayette & Co., Ldt., Los Angeles, Cal. Copyright April 1931 Trade Mark Reg."  It depicts a Mexican gentleman with a sombrero sitting on the ground smoking a cigarette with an Organ Pipe Saguaro Cactus in front of him.  Hand painted.  9 1/8" across.
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715.  Famous Agua Caliente 1929 Money Car Robbery-Murder.
May 20, 1929, a Cadillac coupe with two Mexican guards was carrying the Sunday receipts of Agua Caliente to banks in San Diego.  Across the border in the U.S., two gunmen, armed with machine guns, shot out the tires of the Cadillac, killed the guards and made off with the receipts ($5800 in cash, $80,200 in checks).  One of the gunmen was wounded.  The robbery received national attention.  It was the first machine-gun holdup in the San Diego area.  Speculation was rampant that the Chicago mob was behind the robbery.  In short time the robbers were captured, mainly through the identification of their car and the report of the doctor who attended the wounded robber. (The machine gun had never been fired, and a lesser mob was involved -- Long Beach bootleggers.) The murderers were sentenced to life in prison, and the Long Beach kingpins behind the scheme were never identified by the killers, afraid their families would be murdered if they "squealed."  You may read about this in  Paul J. Vanderwood's "Satan s Playground: Mobsters and Movie Stars at America’s Greatest Gaming Resort," and online here.
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716.  Agua Caliente Racetrack one dollar slot token (both sides shown), made by Franklin Mint in 1966 to commemorate the upcoming Summer Olympics to be held in Mexico City in 1968, the first such games held in a Spanish-speaking country.  Aztec Indian design on reverse side.
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716a.  Tijuana at the resort period, from Real Photo Postcard.
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717.    Monte Carlo gambling club, Tijuana, Mexico, 1910s!  That's the way it was described by the eBay seller, who specializes in post cards.  This one is an RPPC, a real photo post card.  Look close to see the inscriptions on the lower left of the card.  It was the biggest, most luxurious  Tijuana casino at the time, prior to Agua Caliente.

718.  Monte Carlo gambling club, Tijuana, Mexico, 1910s, again; see above.
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719.  Monte Carlo expanded to serve the increased cross-border business when the Tijuana Race Track (1916-1929) opened following Mexico’s 1915 decision to legalize gambling.   Note the track's grandstands at the left.
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719a.  Real Photo Postcard of the Monte Carlo.  1920's.
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720. Foreign Club, major, glamerous gambling cabaret in Tijuana, owned by Wirt Bowman, one of the three Border Barons who owned Agua Caliente.

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721.   Tijuana's Mexicali Beer Hall had the famous "longst bar in the world" -- 241 feet.  (Today other bars hold that record.) .. .... Click here for  an " Old Tijuana Virtual Postcard Tour ."
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722.  "American Custom House, International Boundary line between San Isidro California and Tijuana Mexico",  as stated on back of postcard.  Vintage era linen postcard (1930-45).
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723.  Border inspection -- leaving Tijuana for US, period of Agua Caliente heyday.
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723a.  Boundary line.
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724.   Smuggling booze back into the U.S.   Unusual subject for a postcard! ... From 1919 to 1933, alcohol, casinos, prostitution and horse race betting were all forbidden or tightly restricted in California,  and all were easily available in Tijuana, Mexico.
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July 22, 1935 San Diego Union announcing the end of gambling at Agua Caliente the previous day, and news about the hotel closing.  Bigger picture here.  (At the same time as this, the Expo was ging on in San Diego.)
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725.   Closing of the resort in 1935.  Printed on the back of this press photo, dated 7/23/35, it says "... 'Keep Out' signs posted at Agua Caliente, famous resort, which closed yesterday, following an order by President Cardenas of the Mexican Republic  banning all gambling at Tia Juana and Caliente." That order was issued July 20, 1935.  The entire resort (but not the Racetrack) was shuttted down because the hotel, golf and other revenue could not support the resort.  The managment put the gambling equipment in storage, and turned off the water and electricity, and surrounded the grounds with barbed wire and signs like above. (The national lottery was allowed to continue.)

"From the outset the Agua Caliente resort had close relations with the Baja California and federal Mexican governments. By agreement, 80 percent of its employees were Mexican; it paid high local and federal taxes; two national presidents were highly remunerated and the Baja governors were actually partners. Agua Caliente was the largest employer in Tijuana, and paid wages of $25 to $30 a day, while the average in the city was only $1.50. The 1934 federal elections spelled the beginning of the end. The new president, Lazaro Cardenas, was a radical nationalist reformer who had little patience for foreign-owned businesses, particularly morally questionable ones, no matter how much money they produced. In 1935 he ordered the casino closed." (Source and more details here.)
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726.  400 laid-off workers, January 2, 1938,  seized the Hotel and occupied the bungalows, and some blocked the main road to the Hotel, and defied the soldiers -- hoping to force the reopening of the resort.  Some 1500 locals had lost their jobs with the resort's closing, and they were amongst the better jobs in Tijuana, paying $25-$30 per day while common labor jobs were paying $1.50 per day.  Needless to say, Tijuana was upset with the closing of the casino resort, and for 2-1/2 years dickered with the President over reopening it.  But on December 18, 1937, the President  ended all such hope -- he announced the expropriation of the property for an industrial trade school, and forced the investors to take 10-year-bonds.  That led to the short-lived labor protest in the picture above.  "Crom" (see the banner) was the local labor federation.
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727.  The back of the press photo speaks for itself: workers seize the bungalows.  When gambling was outlawed in 1935, the resort closed.  The workers and their union (CROM) tried to arrange a reversal, but, as noted in the above rows, the property was appropriated for a school in December 1937.  That led to some labor union violence including taking over the bungalows in January 1938 as pictured above.



8.   PRESENT-DAY REMAINS OF THE RESORT                                                            back
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801.  In 1937, the Mexican government, which had outlawed gambling in 1935,  expropriated all the grounds of Agua Caliente (except the Racetrack) and turned them over to the Ministry of Public Education.  Fervent  nationalists wanted complete demolition to erase Tijuana's "history negra" (shameful history).    The hotel became dormitories for students, the casino into workshops for students, and the dog track into a sports field for students. The iconic Bell Tower was destroyed years ago; today a replica of it is at a different location.  Five federal schools occupy the site of the old resort.  So all that is left of the most lavish and popular resort in the Western Hemisphere are a renovated chimney (minaret), some run-down bungalows, a damaged and restored fountain statue or two, and a vandalized/repaired swimming pool -- see the blue arrows above.

The casino building was mostly destroyed by fire in the 1970s, the same decade the 1929-built racetrack burned down.  Some of the bungalows exist today, turned into Taco stands and homes for retired teachers.  Roads were built through the old bungalow area.  The minaret near the Spa, which once served as a chimney for the buring of trash, still stands, but suffered a major renovation, over the protests of preservationists; it still  offers "incredible" views  from the top. The pool remains, though it suffered vandalism and then was partially restored, but the surrounding spa-bath buildings are gone and replaced with movie prop-like facades surrounding the pool.  (Main source: "From Aztec to High Tech: Architecture and Landscape Across the Mexico-United States Border," by Lawrence A. Herzog, JHU Press, 2001.) 

Present remains are seen at these web sites here and here.  

Many of the pictures below are from this picture album of Agua Caliente.   Better yet, is this fine 9.56-minute YouTube video by the same person.  The first three minutes show shots of the old Agua Caliente, and the balance spends its time with modern film and photos of the pool and minaret as seen today.  Worth a look.  Very good are modern views of the pool in this YouTube video of the history of Agua Caliente: here.
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802.  Bungalows today.  (Source, source, source, and source.) ...  Click here for a YouTube 8-minute 2011 video of a drive through the bungalows  -- dozens are shown.
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803.  Pump station?  These two pictures are of present-day ruins of Agua Caliente, but I am  not certain what they were used for.  The jpeg's have the word "pump" in them.  Pump station, water pump to warm the water for the Spa?  The sign at the top of the bottom picture is definitely the Sam's Club logo/sign. That would place it in the Spa-Pool area -- note the Sams Club at the lower left in this map.

The sign on the building in the top picture refers to a school ("escuela" in Spanish).  The resort had been expropriated for educational purposes.   And the sign mentions "Cardenas," the name of the Mexican President who ordered the outlawing of gambling in 1935 (which immediately led to the closing of the resort), and the expropriation of the property for schools in 1937!  

This particular school was founded in 1946 by the federal government  as a high school.  It went through subsequent transformations including becoming part of the Agua Caliente  education complex there.  "In 1971 the school adopted the name 'Lázaro Cárdenas', after the former Mexican president famous for, amongst other measures, the nationalization of the oil industry and largely improving and expanding education throughout the country, who had died on October 19, 1970."  (Source: Wikipedia.)  The formal name, which is also on the building, is "Escuela Preparatoria [high school] Federal Lázaro Cárdenas," and exists today under that name.
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804.  Minaret today, renovated.
 Sources: here, here and here.
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805.  NORTH side of the pool Then and Now.
 For all sides of the pool, note how the surrounding buildings have been destroyed and replaced with mere facades -- see-through decorative props!  (Source for the "Now" picture.)
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806.  NORTH side of the pool (on the left) Then and Now.  Here it is abundantly clear that the buildings have been destroyed and replaced with decorative facades.   (Source.)
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807.  SOUTH side of the pool in its heyday (upper picture)  and later (lower picture) after the surrounding buildings were destroyed, but before the facades were built.  Both pictures are from the same perspective: notice the statue in both pictures. (Source.)
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808.  SOUTH side of the pool Then and Now.   Demolished buildings were replaced with decorative facades like see-through movie props.  The "Later" picture above was just the beginning of the reconstruction of the facade on the South Side of the pool.  When completed, the facade extended on both sides of the arch as seen in the "Now" picture above.
 
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809.  Statue/fountain in shallow end of the pool Then and Now.  Pool yesterday (top picture), and renovated today (bottom 3 pictures).  Statue/fountain, a replica or major renovation?   The top picture is of the time of the old resort.  Hard to believe the statue/fountan could survive intact all these years.  (Source: screen shot from YouTube video.) .....  It looks like that statue/fountain was at the division separating the adult deep part of the pool for the child wading section.  Other YouTube videos of the new and old pool: herehere and here.
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810.  Pool today.  (Source: screen shot from YouTube video.)  One of the last remains of the old resort, ironically, the pool is today named after Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas, who outlawed gambling in 1935, causing the demise of the Agua Caliente resort!  Note the see-through facades where the buildings at the NORTH, EAST and SOUTH side of the pool once were.  In the above picture, daylight is streaming through!
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811.  Pool today.  (Source.)  Note the see-through facade decoration where the buildings at the SOUTH side of the pool once was.
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812.  Pool entrance statuary Then and Now.  Same statue?  (Source, and source.)  Note: the same statuary and entrance is seen above in picture #627, the scene from the movie "In Caliente."  The above picture is truly remarkable in showing what has been destroyed of the old Spa-Pool buildings.  You see the steps that once led to the Spa building main entrance, but today there is no building. You see the arch that was at the rear of the building, the arch at the South side of the pool!  More striking is that the buildings on the North side of the pool are also gone, so you plainly see the Minaret that was behind those long-gone North side buildings!
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813.  Bench and ornaments today.  (Source -- scroll right and left at the source page.)  Notice the damage to the bench and the ornament.
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814.  Agua Caliente Fountain.  I wonder if the lower pictured fountain ("Agua Caliente Fountain") of today is related to the one in the upper picture of the 1929 Agua Caliente Racetrack and Jockey Club.  I'd appreciate some help.  The lower one is also next to where the Racetrack (old and modern rebuilt one) is located.  On the web page where I found the picture, it said, "This fountain is near the entrance to the upscale Tijuana neighborhood of Lomas de Agua Caliente. ... This large circular fountain is located in the center of a traffic circle leading to the Lomas de Agua Caliente neighborhood in Tijuana. The huge fountain has two elevated basins which spill out into a large pool. The circumference of the fountain is covered in blue tile and is fashioned in such a way as to form a bench which completely encircles the fountain. This neighborhood is adjacent to the Caliente racetrack and casino. The Chinese consulate is nearby."  That web page also has a map showing where the fountain is.

Is this the same fountain? -- note Racetrack grandstands in background.




9.  Menus -- Agua Caliente's celebrity guests drawn as caricatures by Xavier Cugart and pictured on the Agua Caliente menu; and other menus too.              back
Agua Caliente Menu Cover.  Shows caricatures of the Hollywood elite who visited the place, drawn by Xavier Cugat!  Scene is probably in the Casino's Patio. Menu is described by the seller on eBay: "Rare and very special menu from the Agua Caliente Race Track Restaurant in Old Mexico  Tijuana in the 1930s. Agua Caliente was  Known as The Playground of the Stars . Famous musician, actor and bandleader-- Xavier Cugat-- did this amazing caricature of all the major stars of the day who once frequented this famous restaurant.  I can spot Laurel & Hardy, Joan Crawford, The Marx Brothers, Eddie Duchin, Tallulah Bankhead, Mary Pickford, Marlene Dietrich and Ramon Navarro.... just  to name a few. "How many can you name?"...the menu asks.  "Xavier Cugat" name is printed on the drawing (at lower right)."   Actual date, Tuesday July 31, 1934 is on the inside of the menu.  It is a four-page menu (see the two inner food/price pages below) which measures about 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" when closed.

How many celebrities can you identify? 

(Here are even better caricatures by Cugart -- in full color and with identifications: click here .  Famous Hollywood Brown Derby caricatures here.)

In the presentation below, I show, in this order:
901 - 904: some pictures of the actual menus, with no notations.
905 - 907: the identification of the caricatures (with photographic head shots), sent by Miguel Ángel Álvarez, in April 2017.  He said, "The source of the list is a book called “Yo Cugat,” an autobiography by Xavier Cugat (DASA Ediciones, Barcelona 1981).   I do not have the book now, but I found images of it on the www [which] were clear enough to ID the caricatures. The additional celebrity pictures are from various internet sites I selected ...  to confirm the names with Cugat’s drawings.  Greetings from Tijuana, Mexico."
908 - 910: my feeble attempts at identification a number of years earlier.


(If you spot identification errors or know of identifications I missed,
please email me.


Actual Complete Menu (901 - 904)
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901


902


903

AguaC_MenuInside.jpg
904 --
Inside of "Xavier Cugat" menu.  To attract the gamblers, food was inexpensive at Agua Caliente, something Las Vegas would copy.  
Lunch was a loss leader-- only $1.00 for soup, salad, entree, vegetable, dessert and coffee.


Identifications (905 - 907) from Cugart's

autobiography, "Yo Cugart."

XavMenu1_37.jpg
905

XavMenu43-_End.jpg
906.

Xav1_16.jpg
Xav17_32.jpg
Xav33_48.jpg
Xav49_64.jpg
Xav65_End.jpg
907.



My earlier efforts at identification (908 - 910)


908.

AguaCalMenuGameB.jpg
909.

Here are some IDs and possible IDs.  Suggestions and corrections appreciated.   My email address:  chipe@ix.netcom.com

Thanks all for your help.  The names with an asterisk (*), I am pretty sure of.
It would have helped if Cugart (multitalented and great as he was) was
a better caricaturist. Here is what some have said, right or wrong:


1. Josef von Sternberg
2. George Arliss? (George Arliss? Not in a million years ; he had a thin face and certainly didn't chomp cigars )
3.  *the Marx Brothers
4.  *the 4th Marx Brother is behind that tree.  Bela Lugosi?
5.  *Raoul Walsh
6.  Ernst Lubitsh ?
9.  Constance Bennett ?
10. Mary Pickford?
11. Edward Everett Horton?    Eddie Cantor (or 30, 53 or 54 for Cantor); Bela Lugosi?
12. Una Merkel?
13. Bette Davis? (wide Bette D. eyes)
14. Bette Davis?
15. Milton Berle
16. Barbara Stanwyck
17. Johnny Weissmuller?  Clark Gable? 
18. Joan Crawford?
19. George Raft?
20. Rudy Vallee
21. *Paul Whiteman  Charles Laughton?
22. Carole Lombard (hair, forehead a good clue).  Bette Davis?
25. Jimmy Durante?  Ernst Lubitsh ?
27. Irving Berlin (see 53 too)
28. *Joe E. Brown
29. *Norma Shearer?
30. *Eddie Duchin ?  Irving Thalberg?
31. Boris Karloff
32. Clara Bow? (was my choice -- fluffy hair; but hair should be dark);  Joan Blondell? (not as much hair); Marion Davies? ….   Carol Channing (Judy Garland ?) No--Carol Channing was 13 years old in 1934
33. *Wallace Beery  Paul Muni?
34. *Xavier Cugat (eye brow, receding forehead, eyes, mustache, name there)  James Cagney?
50. Pepe Guizar?
51. Leo Carrillo?
52. Will Rogers, most likely.  Some say Wallace Beery, but see #33  
53. Irving Berlin? (see 27 too)
54. Fredric March? 
55. Hugh Herbert
56. Lupe Valez
58. Gladys George
59. Maurice Chevalier?  Charles Boyer  Edward G. Robinson  Maurice Chevalier?
60. Richard Dix
61. George Raft
64. Alphonse Menjou
66. *Tallulah Bankhead    Bette Davis?  Marlene Dietrich?
68. Bela Lugosi?
71. Orson Welles
73. James Cagney ?
74. Clark Gable  via ears
75. Bob Hope
76. Fanny Brice  Myrna Loy  Hedda Hopper?
77. Henny Youngman, "I bet - seated next to Fanny Brice, which would make sense"     Buster Keaton?  William Powell?  Montague Love?
79. Cecil B De Mille George Burns?
83. *Laurel and Hardy
84. Polly Moran (made movies with Dressler #85).  Gloria Swanson?
85. *Marie Dressler
86. Greta Garbo?(Garbo & Dressler #85 were both in "Anna Christie.")  Bette Davis?
87. *Louis B Mayer
88. Arthur Treacher  Lon Chaney?
89. Jack Warner (thin mustached) (at table with movie moguls)
910.

AGuaMenus4_Nov2014.jpg

911.  Four Agua Caliente menus:Agua Caliente --  Dancer on cover:  a la Carte menu, 7 x 10.5 inches, 4 pages plus cover, in Spanish and English.  The picture on the cover is the basis for  the cover of Paul J. Vanderwood's book, "Satan's Playground."
Fiesta del Agua Caliente, issued for the 4th anniversary of the resort, has a tassel and silver foil pages.  June 25th, 1932.
Botoms Up -- Compliments of Agua Caliente.  8 x 9 inches, 26 pages plus the cover.   It is called "A Guide for Everyone." No prices inside, but stories about and descriptions of the various drinks, plus information about the hotel, room rates, duty-free shops, etc.  Bid up to $270 on eBay April 2017.
El Jardin, Agua Caliente.  For the Jockey Club restaurant at the Racetrack.  A la Carte menu in Spanish and English.


AguaLunch032914.jpg
912.  Note the folds.  This folds up to be a postcard advertising mailer.


AguaMenu100517.png
912a.  A later 1931 menu, folds to postcard like the one above.

AguaLunMenuu052514.jpg AguaMenueB052414.jpg  
913.  Mexico, Dinner Menu (cover and contents) July 20, 1933.
 I own it, $125 cost.
Note that the cover says "The Luncheon Patio" at lower right, and the contents scan says "Thursday, July 20, 1933" at lower right.

The backcover (not shown here) has 5 pictures of the Hotel lobby, casino-wishing well, spa, track and Bell Tower.


AguaMenuFr060215.jpg AguaMenuBk060215.jpg
914.  Front and back of 4-page (includes the covers) "Dinner" ($2.50/ full meal) menu, dated July 24, 1932.
Inside, the left page advertises the golf course ($1/day) and the spa ($0.50/day). Closed, it is 7 x 10-1/4."
The cover shows the hotel's Avenue of Palms courtyard and the North Wing of the hotel.

AguaMenu050717.jpg
915.  Two colorful menus, 10 1/4 x 7 inches each, for the Hotel Caliente dated 1932.



AguaWineMu060215.jpg
916.  Wine menu.  8 pages including the covers.  5-1/2 x 9."

AguaLchMenu092715.jpg
917.  Rare Luncheon menu, October 28, 1929.
(The next day, October 29, 1929, was the infamous Black Tuesday,
the "Great Crash," the stock market crash that started the Great Depression.)

AguaDinMenu093115.jpg
918. Rare Dinner menu, October 27, 1929.
(Note the line drawn through "Soft shell crabs."  Probably sold out!)


AguaMenu1928_9-17.png
919. Luncheon menu from opening year, dated Sept 10, 1928.


BreakMenu112917.jpg
920.  Rare Breakfast Menu. 
7 x 11 inches.
Bid $475 on eBay, Nov. 2017!

AguaMenu33b_0618.jpg
AguaMenu33a_0618.jpg
921.  March 17, 1933 menu. 
Note that $5 is the cost of the room and dinner-dance, and $1.00 is the cost of the luncheon.

AguaMenu121418.jpg
Coffee Shop Jockey Club menu, Feb. 26, 1932.


AguaReturn091616.jpg
922.  Awaiting Inspection at the Border


923.  U.S. - Mexico Border near Tijuana.


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