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Hanks enjoyed ‘The Terminal’s’ amenities

The three-story set featured working restaurants and stores.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg said it’s not so bad to be stranded at an airport — especially if you’ve built it.

The actor and filmmaker worked together at a massive, three-story set in the desert outside Palmdale, Calif., for their new movie “The Terminal,” in which Hanks plays a man indefinitely stranded at an airport.

“Actually, I think an airport — if you don’t have to go anywhere, if you don’t have to make it to a plane on time — I think an airport is almost like a day spa,” Hanks told The Associated Press. “Take a book, park in short-term parking, get some work done, get a bite to eat, do some shopping, pick up something for the kids.”

The pretend terminal included four working escalators, 60,000 square feet of marble floors, and 35 individual stores — including Burger King, Borders Books, Godiva chocolates and Hugo Boss clothing.

The stage, from production designer Alex McDowell, is one of the most elaborate ever constructed for a movie — although the cost wasn’t specified.

“It was the most comfortable set I’ve ever worked on because it was light, airy...there was nobody smoking. There were plenty of places to sit,” Hanks said. “One of the computer terminals had a solitaire game on it.”

Many on the set feasted on the daily supply of doughnuts, hamburgers and chocolates. All of the eateries had working kitchens, to keep the display windows stocked for each day of production.

“It was a working food court because all the vendors who lent us their names also lent us their personnel and working kitchens,” Spielberg said.

All the retail shops had working products, too.

Hanks said they’d have meetings at the Dean & Deluca kitchenware store, and the manager there would say: “You want some coffee? I can make some coffee.”

“I used to go to the Brookstone, and I used to sit in the vibrating chair and read my script, they’d turn the chair on low vibrate and the little magic fingers would be crawling up my spine,” Spielberg added.

“I took a headset for my cell phone from the Verizon store,” Hanks confessed. “It’s nice.”