Breathtaking, historic, elegant, iconic—these aren’t just the hotel qualities that attract a luxury traveller, they’re what Hollywood filmmakers search for as a backdrop for their next blockbuster. And that’s exactly why you see Fairmont properties around the world show up on the big screen. Alfred Hitchcock chose the Fairmont San Francisco hotel as the setting for Vertigo (1958); Steven Spielberg‘s Empire of the Sun (1987) shot scenes at the art deco interiors of the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai; The Plaza, a Fairmont managed hotel, has been a film location for everything from Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) to Home Alone 2 (1992) to The Great Gatsby (2013).
In celebration of Fairmont’s storied history with cinema, the hotel brand created Fairmont Loves Film: a series of pop-up events and retrospective photo exhibits that launched during the 43rd annual Toronto International Film Festival with Gia Coppola, the program’s Ambassador. Toronto proved itself as the perfect city to kick off the world-travelling exhibit—and not just because the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Lady Gaga and Penelope Cruz were spotted walking the halls of the Fairmont Royal York as part of the festival.
Here in Canada, we have a few hotel movie stars of our own. Keep scrolling to see a few of the famous films that have graced the Fairmont’s hallways here in Hollywood North.
Fairmont Royal York, Toronto
Molly’s Game (2017), the Aaron Sorkin directed film starring Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Idris Elba, shot at the Fairmont Royal York before returning to the city to premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. The hotel provided numerous backdrops for the movie, including a room modelled in the style of The Plaza, where the real-life Molly Bloom held her infamous poker games. Here’s a short list of the other films the Fairmont Royal York has served as a backdrop for: The Killing Fields (1984); Serendipity (2000); The Tuxedo (2001); Where the Truth Lies (2005); Cinderella Man (2005), Hollywood Land (2006); Take the Lead (2006); Red (2010); Chloe (2009); RoboCop (2014); Miss Sloane (2016); and Spotlight (2015).
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Vancouver is affectionately known to those in the industry as “Hollywood North”, which means the city’s landmark Fairmont Hotels is frequently buzzing with celebrities and film shoots. It’s where two of the steamiest movie franchises to hit the big screen — Twilight: Eclipse (2019), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Fifty Shades Darker (2017) — filmed their sexiest scenes. The Good Wife (2009); V (2010) and The Age of Adaline (2015) starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford have also used the hotel as a set location.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Québec City
Quebec City’s cobblestone streets and historic French architecture provide a medieval-like setting that can’t be replicated anywhere else in North America —not even on a movie set. That’s why Alfred Hitchcock took his film crew to the Quebec capital for his 1953 psychological thriller, I Confess. The film opens with a shot of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the world’s most photographed hotel, and stars Montgomery Clift, O.E. Hasse, and Anne Baxter. Hichcock’s film inspired the director of Taking Lives (2004), D. J. Caruso, to shoot his Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie led film in the same dramatic space.
Fairmont Banff Springs
A picturesque castle in the Rockies surrounded by forest and fauna? It’s a filmmakers dream. Several films have been made here over the years, including River of No Return (1954) starring Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum. Other movies filmed at Fairmont Banff Springs include The Edge (1997), a dramatic thriller starring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin and Elle Macpherson; and Goose on the Loose (2011) with Chevy Chase, James Purefoy and Max Morrow.