Just two days ago, approximately $136 million worth of diamonds were stolen from the InterContinental Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France–one of Europe’s largest jewelry heists of recent times. Aside from hosting large jewelry events and exhibitions apparently a little too frequently (the Carlton was burgled once before in 1994), this luxury hotel has played a major role in the French city’s culture of cinephilia. Starting with the very first Cannes Film Festival in 1946, the hotel housed famous celebrities and was used as a venue for festival events such as jury meetings. Later, it served as the backdrop to Alfred Hitchcock‘s To Catch a Thief, which was fittingly a romantic thriller about a jewel thief (Cary Grant) and his love interest (Grace Kelly).
The hotel website proudly lists the locations where the 1954 film was shot. The hotel beach, Grand Salon, and gala room have all become popular tourist attractions. Suite 623, dubbed the Alfred Hitchcock Suite, has become one of the hotel’s most legendary rooms. Right outside the door of the room is where Grant and Kelly’s characters shared their first kiss!
In addition to being a popular filming location and Cannes Film Fest destination, the Carlton carries some personal significance to Grace Kelly. During the 1955 festival, Kelly first met Prince Rainer III of Monaco–her future husband–at the hotel. As a result, To Catch a Thief was one of Kelly’s final films before her retirement into her new, permanent role as Princess of Monaco.