In 1952, a famous Hollywood movie was filmed in Niagara Falls and it was then that one of the world's most famous stars came to town. The film “Niagara” shot scenes in many local locations including city hall, the old post office, the old hospital and also in Chippawa. The Rainbow Bridge was also a prominent location and featured scenes filmed at the bus station as well as at the Carillon Tower. Some local residents were also thrilled to serve as extras during filming.
Some say that Marilyn herself rivalled the falls itself in popularity while she was in town. The local newspaper said that “Milling crowds are often around her.” Ms. Monroe was able to do some local sightseeing during her stay that included Queen Victoria Park, Table Rock House, a trip on the Maid of the Mist and a drive through Dufferin Islands. She also toured the local Oneida Company silverware plant.
The local headquarters for the 20th Century Fox crew was located at the General Brock Hotel (now known as The Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls - Fallsview). Marilyn herself stayed in room 801, and if you are lucky, you can still stay in room 801 today.
Many fans would hope to catch a glimpse of Marilyn and the movie crew at the Rainbow Motel. Built in Queen Victoria Park directly across from the American Falls for the movie by local contractor Arthur Jolley, the six unit facade was the scene of many of the movie’s most pivotal scenes. Although it was dismantled shortly after the film wrapped up, tourists tried to register at the fictitious hotel for many years after.
The movie had its Canadian premiere at the Seneca Theatre on Queen Street on January 28, 1953 amid much fanfare. With a film budget of 2 million dollars, it was one of the few dramatic mysteries to be filmed in “Technicolor”. If you weren’t able to attend the premier, you may rest assured that you can still borrow a blu-ray copy from the Library!
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