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Plane Landing in Opening Scene of Casablanca

A Beautiful Friendship: “Casablanca” and the Van Nuys Airport

Still considered one of the greatest films ever made, Casablanca’s stellar cast and compelling script has left us with never-to-be-forgotten classic lines and enduring images. The fogged-in airport where Rick and Ilsa say goodbye and the shots of “Rick’s Café Americain” are flawless, and the film’s powerful themes of romance and escape are introduced by the scene of a plane coming in for a landing. That iconic opening scene was filmed at the Van Nuys Airport Hangar No. 1, which was, unfortunately, torn down in 2007.

However, the façade of the hangar was preserved by the founders of the Airtel Plaza Hotel, and the latest reports are that the façade will be restored and moved to the Valley Relics Museum. In keeping with the theme of love, Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre will show this beloved classic on Valentine's Day – a perfect selection for lovers, film lovers, and history buffs. It’s the ideal opportunity to see Hangar No. 1 in all its former glory while romancing your valentine. For show times and tickets, call (310) 260-1528, or click here.

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