As the doors slide open and the scent of jet fuel meets crisp airport air, a touch of déjà vu envelops many travellers. They’ve seen these terminals, walkways, and waiting areas before, but not during a previous trip. They’ve seen them on the big screen. Over the years, international airports have been silent actors, lending their halls and tarmacs to movie magic.
John F. Kennedy International Airport: This isn’t just an airport; it’s a piece of cinematic art. The TWA Hotel, standing regally at JFK, is a testament to architect Eero Saarinen’s vision. Restored to its 1962 glory, it’s not just a favourite for tourists but also Hollywood. Steven Spielberg chose this as his stage for “Catch Me If You Can,” and so did the makers of “Ocean’s 8.” And who could forget its dazzling cameo in season five of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”?
Newark International Airport: Beyond its claim as one of America’s busiest airports, Newark’s majestic design has drawn directors looking for the perfect setting. Films like “Scent of a Woman” and “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” have showcased its vastness and elegance. Reality TV had its fair share, with “The Amazing Race” participants racing through its gates.
LaGuardia Airport: The oldest of New York’s air gateways, LaGuardia’s sleek aesthetics has magnetized filmmakers for years. Its hallways and waiting areas were pivotal in “Coming to America” and “Die Hard with a Vengeance.” Its charm even beckoned Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones in “The Terminal.”
O’Hare International Airport: Named after the war legend Edward O’Hare, this Midwest gem is a treasure trove of history, culture, and, of course, movies. Its vast corridors and historic decors have set the mood in “Sleepless in Seattle” and provided comedic adventures in “Home Alone.”
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): LAX isn’t just LA’s pride for its transportation feats but also its Hollywood credits. Over 170 productions, including “Fight Club” and “Charlie’s Angels,” have featured its futuristic aesthetics.
Heathrow International Airport: Britain’s air giant, Heathrow, has not only seen millions of stories unfold in its terminals but has also hosted a few. It’s the backdrop for heartwarming “Love Actually” scenes and sported its British charm in “Bend It Like Beckham.”
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport: Just a short drive from the heart of Paris, this French masterpiece isn’t just a travel hub but a star in its own right. Innovations like AI customer service have made it modern, but its long-standing charm made it the pick for movies like “Inception.”
And the list goes on. From Singapore’s Changi Airport lighting up in “Crazy Rich Asians” to the thrilling chase at San Francisco International in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” airports worldwide play pivotal roles in cinematic masterpieces. So, next time you’re waiting for a flight, look around. You might just be standing on the set of the next blockbuster.
Written by: Bridget Gomez
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