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The film's working title was Young Americans. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item on October 7, 1941, M-G-M had planned to make a series based on the film. Leo Gorcey was set to star in the first picture in the series, which was to be directed by Edward Ludwig and produced by Frederick Stephani. Although Gorcey did revive his "'Snap' Collins" character for Stephani and Ludwig's Born to Sing, that film was not a sequel to Down in San Diego and the proposed series was never produced. In the film's movie theater scene, the picture playing is M-G-M's 1941 film Ziegfeld Girl, and the scene used from that film features Lana Turner and Margaret Hamilton (see below). Down in San Diego marked the motion picture debut of Broadway dancer Ray McDonald, although another film made at approximately the same time, Life Begins for Andy Hardy (see below) was released two weeks previously.