Although the classic PSYCHO house and motel exteriors still stand at Universal Studios Hollywood, they were not used as a filming location for the A&E television series Bates Motel. Instead, for the last five years a replica of the house and motel could be seen in Aldergrove, British Columbia, just outside of Vancouver. Erected on a piece of property that was formerly a landfill, this replica certainly had me fooled. It looked like the classic locations to me; when I found out that this was a new set built in Canada, I was fascinated by the idea that there was another PSYCHO house and motel out there in the world.
Hopefully any fans who really wanted to see the Aldergrove house and motel in person have already fulfilled that wish, because they don't exist anymore. The fifth season of Bates Motel, which is set to begin airing on A&E on February 20th, has also been called its final season, and clearly the powers that be behind the show have every intention of sticking to the plan of ending it. They're not likely to change course and go ahead with a season six now that heavy equipment has been brought in to tear the motel apart and dismantle the house.
The Vancouver Sun was able to snap some pictures of the destruction as it was happening. A few of these images can be seen below, and my heart sank when I saw them. It was disappointing when the PSYCHO house at Universal Studios Florida (where PSYCHO IV was shot) was torn down in 1998, and it's disappointing that the Bates Motel house has been torn down now.
The synopsis for season five:
This contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho has provided fans with an intimate look into the unraveling of Norman Bates’ psyche throughout his teenage years. Fans watched as Norman’s dangerous transformation came full circle when he methodically murdered his beloved mother, Norma, in the final gut-wrenching episodes of season four. Season five of “Bates Motel” picks up almost two years later and finds Norman (Freddie Highmore), a grown man now, living a double life. Publicly he’s a happy and well-adjusted member of the White Pine Bay community, but at home Norman struggles; his violent blackouts continue to increase as ‘Mother’ (Vera Farmiga) threatens to take over his mind completely. Meanwhile, Dylan Massett (Max Thierot) and Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), since leaving White Pine Bay, have been living their lives blissfully unaware of Norma’s death and Norman’s full on descent into psychosis. Unfortunately, for them, they will soon find themselves drawn back into Norman’s insanity, while a vengeful Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell), who is currently incarcerated for a perjury, hungers for a chance to destroy his stepson and avenge the murder of his one true love, Norma Bates.
New faces find their way to the Bates Motel this season to further complicate Norman’s life and threaten to unearth his dark secrets. Viewers will finally meet the iconic Marion Crane played by Rihanna. In addition, a new couple in town, Madeleine Loomis, played by Isabelle McNally (“House of Cards”) and her husband Sam Loomis, played by Austin Nichols (“The Walking Dead,” “Ray Donovan”), as well as Sheriff Dana Greene, played by Brooke Smith (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ray Donovan”) become entangled in Norman’s life causing a chain of events that could blow the lid off Norman’s secret life. Lastly, fans will be greeted by familiar faces when Caleb Calhoun (Kenny Johnson) and Chick Hogan (Ryan Hurst) return with agendas of their own.