The Former Site of the “Home Alone 2″ MotelDec 20th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
One Christmas location that I had been absolutely obsessed with finding for years was the supposed Miami, Florida-area motel where the McCallister family – minus Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), of course – stayed in the 1992 flick Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. I had always assumed that the place was located in Miami, until I noticed a mention on the movie’s IMDB filming locations page that stated that it was actually in Malibu. Well, believe you me, once I found out that the motel was located in the L.A. region, I became bound and determined to find it and immediately enlisted the help of fellow stalker Chas, from the It’sFilmedThere website. Chas wound up contacting one of the HA2 crew members about a year and a half ago, who had this to say, “That was the last scene we shot in the movie and I was driving the van. I just looked it up. We shot it at Rochelle’s Motel, 3333 Lakewood Boulevard @ Donald Douglas Drive, Long Beach, CA. I’m honestly not sure it exists anymore, but that would be (I think) the correct name and address. I just found the call sheet.” (I LOVE hearing insider info like the fact that it was the last scene shot and that the crew-member was driving the van. SO COOL!) Sadly, said crew member was right – Rochelle’s had been leveled shortly after Home Alone 2 was lensed. Even though the locale was no longer in existence, though, I was absolutely dying to stalk its former site and dragged the Grim Cheaper right on over there to do just that on our way to Newport Beach this past weekend.
Fellow stalker Gary, from Seeing Stars, did a TON of research on this locale and I honestly cannot thank him enough. Because he lives in the South Bay, Chas had contacted Gary to ask if he had ever seen Rochelle’s when it was still in operation. He hadn’t, but decided to do some Googling on the subject and came up with quite a bit of information. From his queries, which yielded several Los Angeles Times mentions of various events held at the site, Gary was able to ascertain that the location, which is a stone’s throw away from the Long Beach Airport, was originally a motel named the Landmark that opened around 1962. You can check out a photograph of an old Landmark matchbook here and a vintage postcard from the place on Ron-Kane’s Flickr photostream here. According to the postcard, the Landmark featured a heated swimming pool and fully-carpeted, air-conditioned rooms with tubs, showers and 21-inch television sets. Sometime around 1967, the Landmark was razed (or completely altered) to make way for a new, larger hotel/convention center named Rochelle’s. You can see an old Rochelle’s matchbook here, which states that the place boasted 163 “luxurious units” with separate kitchenettes, a heated pool, a restaurant, a coffee shop, sauna baths for both men and women, and a private conference room. From what Gary ascertained, Rochelle’s seems to have been in operation until at least 1988 and, if I had to guess, I would say that the place was closed and vacant at the time that Home Alone 2 was filmed in 1992, which is most likely why producers chose to use it. Sometime thereafter, the motel was demolished and a parking structure for the Long Beach Airport currently stands in its place. Boo!
Rochelle’s Motel, which was re-named Villa de Dolphine for the filming, only showed up twice in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – first in the scene in which the McCallister family arrived in Miami, only to discover that the motel that Uncle Frank (Gerry Bamman) recommended was a total dump. Of the place, he says, “It didn’t look this bad on our honeymoon.” LOL I absolutely LOVE the docked boat that was parked in front of the pool area in the scene. Fabulous touch!
Rochelle’s later appeared in the scene in which Kate McCallister (Catherine O-Hara) received a phone call from the Miami Police informing her that Kevin had tried to check in to The Plaza Hotel in New York (which I blogged about here).
Amazingly enough, I could not find a single photograph of the former Rochelle’s Motel anywhere online. Not one! Thankfully though, fave website Historic Aerials did come through with a view of the locale from 1972, which you can compare to the current aerial view below.
As you can see in a more close-up version of that 1972 view, the C-shape of the motel, as well as the pool with parking spaces set around it, match up perfectly to what appeared onscreen in Home Alone 2.
The pink-hued interior of the McCallister family’s motel room was, I believe, just a set and not an actual room at Rochelle’s.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Rochelle’s Motel, aka Villa de Dolphine from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, was formerly located at 3333 Lakewood Boulevard in Long Beach. Today, the site is a parking structure for the Long Beach Airport.