Marilyn Monroe's room at the Crowne Plaza, Niagara Falls

People still ask for Room 801 inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls. The room where...

People still ask for Room 801 inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls. The room where Marilyn Monroe slept when they were filming the movie Niagara, in 1952. (QMI Agency files)

Tony Ricciuto, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:59 PM ET

Marilyn Monroe slept here.

It’s Room 801 inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls and if you play your cards right, you can sleep there, too.

It’s on the eighth floor, right at the end of the hall, on the left side.

“It’s more than just the room, it’s the entire hotel because this is where she stayed when they were filming the movie Niagara,” said Joseph Legace, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

In June 1952, the hotel was called the General Brock, in honour of Sir Isaac Brock, the British major general who defended Canada from the Americans in the War of 1812.

“We have taken actual photos of her when she was filming the movie and we have placed them on the eighth floor for all our guests to see,” said Legace. “This hotel has a lot of history, whether it’s the king and queen of England being here, or a movie that was shot on the 11th floor. People want to know the history of what has happened here.”

When the 20th Century Fox film Niagara was shot in Niagara Falls, Monroe, Joseph Cotten and Jean Peters all stayed at the Brock.

“We are actually going to be doing historical tours of the hotel,” said Legace. “We get a lot of interest from people in places like Japan and Korea, they want to know the history.”

The hotel was built in 1929. It’s directly across the street from the Rainbow Bridge and it’s the first building American visitors may see after crossing into Canada. The hotel has changed names over the years, and while there have been a number of renovations, the eighth floor and Room 801 will always be a part of Marilyn Monroe history.

“We get guests all the time asking where did Marilyn sleep or what was her room number. We advise them to take a look on the eighth floor, there are five special pictures that were shot of her when she was here,” said Legace. “They are quite unique and they have a little caption under them. A new picture was just sent to me recently and it shows Marilyn on our balcony.”

The hotel will take requests if a guest wishes to stay in Room 801, and they will do their best to make that happen, providing it’s available. Prices vary depending on the time of year. It can range from $129 in the off season to $289 in the summer or on some weekends.

“In the 1950s, this hotel would have been it. We are quite proud of this property because it is so unique,” said Legace.

In addition to Marilyn’s visit, the hotel has hosted many notable guests, including Walt Disney, Shirley Temple, Jimmy Stewart, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth. In recent years, other guests have included Sylvester Stallone, Matt Dillon, Bruce Willis and Jackie Chan.

The hotel also appeared at the ending of the film A Whole Nine Yards starring Matthew Perry. He was filmed on the balcony terrace on the 11th floor.

According to local folklore, Marilyn was known to walk around naked or sleep in the nude.

There’s a recent Chanel No. 5 perfume advertisement that seems to support that story.

In the commercial, Marilyn is asked by a reporter about what she wears when going to bed. Marilyn replied that she didn’t want to use the word nude, so she told the reporter she wore Chanel No. 5.

Opening the door to Room 801, it’s smaller than expected. On the left there’s a bathroom. There are two double beds in the room and there’s a large framed black and white photograph of Marilyn that was taken at the Maid of the Mist. It was signed and dated by the photographer.

This is the bedroom of the suite where Marilyn stayed. It would have been much larger in 1952 and the view from the window showing the American Falls would have been more spectacular. Now, part of that view is blocked by new construction that has gone up around the hotel.

Some people who have stayed in Room 801 posted comments on social media sites.

One visitor from Toronto wrote: “There are tons of hotels in Niagara Falls, but there is only one hotel that boasts Marilyn Monroe stayed there for two weeks while filming her breakout movie Niagara in June 1952. That hotel was the General Brock when Marilyn stayed there and it was the swankiest spot in town.”

The visitor adds: “Great beds, by the way, and no — it’s not the same bed Marilyn slept in. But you’ve got her bedroom and there really is something special about being in the same room where she lived for weeks.”

Apparently, the sitting room part of her suite is now a separate hotel room, Room 802.

Marilyn was 26 when she visited Niagara Falls. She was a celebrity, but not yet a major movie star. The movie Niagara established her as a major sex symbol.

She starred in a number of successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.

She died in 1962 and the circumstances surrounding her death are still not clear. It’s officially classified as a “probable suicide,” but the possibility of an accidental overdose or a homicide have not been ruled out.

tony.ricciuto@sunmedia.ca


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