Fans of ABC’s Pan Am, who tuned in for the pilot episode back in September might remember a scene taking place in Cuba. Well the island nation in the Caribbean was actually Farmingdale, and the show came back to the destination of the pilot episode, Republic Airport, this week to shoot another episode.
“We had such a phenomenal experience,” said Toby Conroy, the associate producer of the pilot episode, who now describes himself as the “go to plane guy.” He added, “We didn’t really have to shop around. We knew we needed a big plane.”
That big plane is a 707 old Boeing aircraft that was brought to Long Island from Florida for the shoot.
The 707 was first designed in the late 50s, early 60s, and was one of the first jet passenger airliners in the country, said Michael Geiger, the airport director at Republic.
The actors, producers, and TV-staff depart from Republic on Friday night, after three days of shooting in the dark, because as Conroy puts it, “it lets us be anywhere in the world.”
And that’s a big part of what makes the show what it is, said Conroy. Each episode takes place in a different part of the world, as Pan Am shows off the glitz and glamour of a changing world.
Said Conroy: “We have an incredible team who’s done an amazing job of taking us to Monte Carlo, and to Rome and to London, you know, all around Brooklyn,” where the show’s studio is based.
Pan Am stars Christina Ricci, who plays flight attendant, Maggie Ryan. The nostalgic airline drama centers around pilots and flight attendants back in the ‘60s, when flying became as glamorous as taking a ride on passenger liner Queen Elizabeth just decades prior.
Republic Airpot—and other areas on Long Island—have become popular shooting destinations for television shows and movies in the past.
Geiger, the airport’s director, said Boardwalk Empire, Salt, Colbert Report, Royal Pains and Ugly Betty, have all taped on its property.
“You get a run where there’s a few that come in and then it gets quiet for a little bit,” he said, adding, “It comes and goes.”
As for Pan Am, Conroy couldn’t reveal what country Republic Airport was turned into this week, but told the Press, “[it’s] a big part of the episode.”