Film students find movie magic in old Kingsway haunt

By Jessica A. Froud and Gina M. Rogers
Vancouver’s 2400 Motel, built in the post-Second World War era of 1946, marks the Kingsway landscape to this day.
Popular with motorists coming from the Interior and those staying for an annual classic car show, the iconic motel is now primarily a seasonal home for people who are receiving hospital services and some refugees. It has also been a setting for films and television series like The X-Files and Supernatural.
Michael Lopez, the general manager, says the property remains popular due to affordability, location, and historic value.
“I think this is a reminder of where we were at one time and how it’s still continuing on, moving forward into the future.”

Jessica A. Froud photo.

Lopez welcomes film students to shoot on-site. Two student productions are currently underway, he said.
“Not everyone has 10,000 bucks per day budget for location. We’ll just rent students the room at cost. They’re students, they’re the future.”
The 2400 is a rare piece of property in Metro Vancouver as it remains in its original state in a twilight zone of high density development.

Jessica A. Froud photo.

The Vancouver properties department purchased the site for future resale at the turn of the last century, but the property is still privately managed.
“You don’t see this anymore. It’s changing, we’re sitting on three and a half acres and we’re not building up.” Lopez said.
Jordan Andom, front desk clerk at the motel, isn’t afraid of the ghosts he says are at the motel, or of the COVID-19 virus.
“I’m not personally any more worried about getting infected there than I am from, say, public transit or catching it from a friend,” Andom said. He counts the motel ghosts as among his friends.

Jessica A. Froud photo.

Greg Tatchur has worked at the 2400 Motel for seven years and says he hasn’t seen anything unusual on the property, and that he’s thankful it’s no longer 1946 due to medical advances.
As manager, Lopez has concerns about COVID-19 negatively impacting Vancouver tourism and hospitality. He is worried about loss of overflow from the downtown hotels that he said extends as far as Surrey.
For Lopez, “It’s like having an old car, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad. You’re looking at a car that’s 50, 60 years old, you know it’s not going as fast as everyone else but when it’s rolling on the street you stop and stare at it.”
“That is so cool it’s still working, and look how they take care of it,” Lopez said.

Gina M. Rogers photo.
Big screen appearances
The 2400 Motel, formerly 2400 Court, holds the once ubiquitous and now totally unique “streamline moderne” aesthetic value for viewers and makers of numerous Vancouver film and television productions. Casts from the crew oft stay onsite.
  • 3000 Miles to Graceland
    This American crime film (2001), starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner, is the first and most memorable appearance of the motel for front desk associate, Greg Tatchur.
  • X-Files
    In episode 3×23Wetwired”, Scully and Mulder stay at the 2400 Motel and grow increasingly paranoid from modified cable TV.
  • Bates Motel
    Based on the Robert Bloch book of the same name that was based in serial killer Ed Gein’s true story. The Hitchcock production built a replica of the original hotel elsewhere in B.C. where you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
  • Stargate SG-1
    Using the ancient Stargate network, a secret team explores planets around the galaxy, and stays in the 2400 motel, while investigating the strange occurrences in the town in episode 6×05 “Nightwalkers“.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
    The film (2010) earned $75.7 million on a $15 million budget.