Room 801 at the Crowne Plaza, Niagara Falls
Niagara and Marilyn Monroe, the two most electrifying sights in the world, according to the trailer for the 1952 movie. Marilyn stayed here for two weeks while shooting the film at the General Brock Hotel (now renamed the Crowne Plaza.) You can still stay in the room where she slept (it is smaller now and with a different bed) but we went to take a peek anyway. On the eighth floor there are framed black and white photographs all along the corridor of her time here. Room 801 is now half the size of the suite in which she stayed and the view of the falls she once had is now partially obscured.
It was fun to get the key and take a look inside - a nice little room - with a big place in the history of a film icon. I first read about her stay here on George Bailey's blog where you can find more photographs of Marilyn making the movie. Niagara was regarded as her breakthrough film. It's pretty dreadful but I enjoyed watching it nonetheless to see the Falls and how the city looked back in the 50s. Some original architecture still remains.
|Room 801 where Marilyn stayed.|
The Crowne Plaza has good views of the Falls and we had a great lunch on the tenth floor, narrowly avoiding a queue of 140 Japanese tourists who also came here to eat. I don't think you would ever get tired of this view - both Canadian and American Falls crashing below you as you sip your wine. A delightful spot.
|Great lunch views from the tenth floor restaurant.|
The history of Niagara Falls in its honeymooner heyday fascinates me and the current exhibit at the Niagara Falls History Museum is a real treat. It has a photography display of some of the original motels which probably will not survive much longer. They have done a great job of creating a 1950s motel room with furniture and fashions of the time as well as some great first-hand accounts from honeymooners who started married life together here. The museum was a fifteen minute walk from our hotel and well worth it.
|Letters from honeymooners at the museum|
|Niagara Falls History Museum|
|Still got the romance|
The first time I walked in the Secret Garden I was immediately aware that it must have looked much the same as when Marilyn stayed here. I had a strong sense that she probably sat here in the shade of the box trees, waiting to start filming. You can see the Falls from these garden benches in the picture below. It was a hot day and I sat in the shade for a while too. It was only when I watched the movie back home that I saw the garden again - and there was Marilyn walking past the same benches.