We present fluorescence decays of xanthene dyes in polymer films from spatial domains as small as 0.5 μm, observed from submicron gold/quartz heterostructures, spin coated by dye/polymer solutions. The fluorescence decays observed from gold and quartz domains were nonexponential and had components with lifetimes between 0.2-3.9 ns for 3×10-3 M rhodamine 3B/PMMA. In case of 1 μm thick polymer films, the gold domains typically decayed faster than the inter-electrode quartz domains. Comparative studies of spincoated films and bulk systems showed that the fluorescence dynamics depend strongly on the method of sample preparation. Dye/polymer systems, produced by polymerization of dye/precursor solutions, revealed a strong annealing effect of the host matrix by in situ monitoring the temperature-dependent fluorescence dynamics of the guest.