How ‘The Founder’ recreates 1950s McDonalds, San Bernardino

Though some color schemes were guessed at — Corenblith reportedly could only find black-and-white photos of McDonald’s No. “That’s a fully functioning kitchen as well as set. Then we had the doors that went back to the office part of the Octagon, but the office set was on an Atlanta stage.” 1, parts of which remain at the site, which is now the corporate headquarters of the Juan Pollo chain, and the Original McDonald’s Museum — and some breakaway doors and windows were incorporated to facilitate filming, the set pretty much conformed to the original Octagon setup the brothers chalked out on their tennis court.“That was all there and it was all shot there,” Hancock says of the cooking and prep areas, which were outfitted with period equipment.
It was one of those things where we got lucky. “He found an interesting location in Newnan [40 miles southwest of Atlanta]. But rebuilding the Octagon — the building in which the McDonalds set up their Speedee Service System hamburger prep assembly line and delivery system, which essentially became the template for all fast-food operations — was its own exercise in precision. The background is somewhat more industrial than San Bernardino was at that time at that location, but that said, I thought it was fair enough.”A few days shooting in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, enabled “The Founder’s” editors to cut in traveling shots that gave more of a California impression. It had across the street this thrift store that was closed down, and it looked almost exactly like the store that was across the street from the original McDonald’s stand.
The McDonald’s origin movie, “The Founder,” may have been shot primarily in Georgia, but director John Lee Hancock and his crew went to great lengths to re-create 1950s San Bernardino for the screen.That, of course, is where brothers Mac and Dick McDonald, played by John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman, perfected the fast-food concept at their eponymous, walk-up hamburger stand at 14th and E Streets. And where, according to the film, a desperate middle-aged milkshake-maker salesman named Ray Kroc (portrayed by Michael Keaton) saw massive franchising potential, convinced the brothers to partner with him, took Dick’s Golden Arches design idea home to Illinois and eventually forced the McDonalds out of their own company, which now boasts some 35,000 restaurants worldwide.
Dick McDonald’s grandson Jason French gathered a wealth of family photos, letters, recordings and other materials for the project.But it was up to Hancock and his design team — whose last movie, “Saving Mr. The project was researched and developed for years by producer Don Handfield, screenwriter Robert Siegel (“The Wrestler”) and others. Banks,” re-created 1960s Southern California in California — to convincingly bring back the Inland Empire of six decades ago on the other side of the country.“We pulled up a lot of vintage photographs of San Bernardino, 14th and E Street, as it existed during that time period,” Hancock explains, “saw the different buildings that were around it, kind of what it looked like, how much foliage, etc., etc. Then Michael Corenblith, our production designer, set out to start location scouting for it.