The origins of the Bates mansion

The origins of the Bates mansion

The Psycho house pictures since 1959

The new season of the Bates Motel Series is right around the corner, and maybe you haven't given a thought to the origins of the Bates mansion, which has been an emblematic icon in the history of cinema since it was built for the classic Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho film in 1959.

The Psycho house has appeared in countless films, TV shows, documentaries and even cartoons, and it has gone through a lot of transformations for as long as it has existed. Yet there are some facts that many ignore about the eerie home of the Bates, let's breakdown the origins of this legendary house of the horror genre, shall we?

It was built with only two walls

Originally, the house was constructed with only 2 walls - the left and front facade, as it would be filmed only from a vantage point within a 90 degree span.

It's lego-style constructed

The tower section of the Harvey/Allison House on the backlot's "Colonial Street" was removed in 1959 and used in the construction of the Bates home set for Psycho.

A third wall was added for a western

The right wall of the house was constructed specifically for the set's appearance in the 1964 film Invitation to a Gunfighter.

A larger porche was added in the 70's

The Psycho house was restorated and was added a larger, wrap-around porch, both for the 1976 mini-series "Captains and the Kings". It remained like that until the house was demolished.

The house was dismantled and rebuilt

After occupying the ridge above "Laramie Street" for over twenty years, the Psycho House was dismantled in December of 1980, and later reassembled elsewhere on the lot for the filming of Pyscho II (1983). Only thirty feet of motel was built. The rest was done as a matte painting.

The Psycho house is inspired by a painting

It is widely believed that Edward Hopper's 1925 painting House by the Railroad influenced the design of the house. While the painting was a model for the Bates house, maybe it also reflects Norman's own state of mind. Screenwriter Joseph Stefano said, “I told [Anthony Perkins] that I felt that Norman Bates, if he were a painting, would be painted by Hopper".

A replica was built for Psycho IV

In 1988, Universal Studios built a new Psycho House and Motel in Florida for Psycho IV. The set was demolished in 1998 to build an extension to a children's play area.

You can live the Psycho experience

Since 2008 the Universal Studios Tour features a Norman Bates look-a-like stepping out of Cabin One, carrying a body to the trunk of the car, noticing the tram, he raises his knife and walks slowly towards it. If Norman is not at the motel a cardboard cutout of Anthony Perkins stands looking out the window.

The house of 'Bates Motel' series had no roof

The motel and house for the current series, starred by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, are located in British Columbia, Canada. They are extremely close replicas of the original 'Psycho' set, but the roof was missing in season 1 and it had to be added digitally, it was until season 2 that the house was completed.

Save the Psycho house

A group of people interested in the preservation of the Psycho house, created the Facebook page SaveThePsychoHouse in order to raise awareness regarding the dilapidation and general deterioration of the mansion. There was even an online petition asking Universal Studios to undertake a complete restoration of the Psycho house.

Check out the pictures of the house since 1959 in the gallery below.

 

Sources:

Retro web

Psycho House and Bates Motel Timeline

Published on: February 2016
More about this Movie
Bates Motel Season 4
Bates Motel Season 4
Release date: March 7th 2016

No. of episodes: 10

Writers and executive producers: Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse

Main Cast:

Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates
Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates
Max Thieriot as Dylan Massett
Olivia Cooke as Emma Decody
Nestor Carbonell as Alex Romero

Bates Motel, a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho, will return with ten new episodes that further reveal Norman’s continued downward spiral and the effect it has on the family....