The Bates Motel probably holds the title as the most famous (or infamous, take your pick) hotel in film history.
Norman Bates’s “mother” and the eye-covering shower scene might be the gruesome star attractions in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960), but the Bates Motel is certainly a worthy co-star as well.
But the motel with 12 cabins – and just 15 minutes away from the fictional town, Fairvale, CA – isn’t the only lodge in the film.
Hitchcock’s classic thriller actually begins in Phoenix, AZ with a panoramic shot of downtown, and he zeros in on the old Jefferson Hotel, located at 101 S. Central Ave.
It’s the film’s setting for a daytime rendezvous between Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin).
A short scene, but an important one, as it sets up Marion’s motivations to steal $40,000, drive to California and shockingly end up dead in the Bates Motel’s Cabin 1 bathroom.
But Phoenix gets credit for being the first hotel in “Psycho” (1960), and, yes, a much friendlier one.
Today, the Jefferson Hotel isn’t a hotel any longer and is now called the Barrister Place Building.
This unassuming structure sits just west of US Airways Center, south of CityScape and enjoys the Phoenix Light Rail cruising by on frequent occasions.
Owned by the city of Phoenix, the Barrister Place Building is currently the proud home to the Phoenix Police Museum.
Set in only one suite (Suite 100), the museum holds tons of pictures, facts/figures, memorabilia, antique finds like handcuffs from the 1880s, a one-room jail, a police motorcycle, and much more.
Museum curator (and retired Phoenix Police officer) Mike Nikolin said the museum was founded to “let the public know the history of the Phoenix Police Department and its connection with the community.”
Although the museum accepts donations, admission is free.
But if you want to see the museum at the Barrister Place Building, you might need to hurry.
Although the Phoenix Police Museum has called 101 S. Central Ave home since the mid-1990s, Nikolin said the museum is looking to move to Phoenix’s Historic City Hall later this year.
And according to a June 23rd Arizona Republic story, “the Barrister Place Building and the Phoenix Sky Harbor Center will become the home of a multimillion-dollar data center and bioscience hub.” (link to story)
Until then, the museum’s staff will continue to enjoy the occasional questions about the other motel in “Psycho.”