Five decades after its inauguration it has a bit of a kitsch and old-fashioned look about it, and during that time it has hosted numerous events, ranging from tourism to trade fairs, political conferences and even screenings during the Independent Film Week in Benalmádena. The Torremolinos congress centre has, however, never been an airport, among other reasons because the architects, Rafael de la Hoz and Gerardo Olivares, designed it at the peak of the boom on the Costa del Sol to house visitors rather than passengers.
However, there are no limits to fiction on television and so the iconic Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones is being turned into an airport in the 1960s for the third season of The Crown, one of the most popular series on Netflix.
The filming of this production about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II was confirmed this week after a casting session in San Juan de Aznalfarache (Seville), where much of the filming will take place.
Scenes will also be shot in Malaga and Cadiz provinces, and members of the public were also invited to audition as extras last Monday at the Florida Theatre in Algeciras and two days later in the Palacio de la Paz in Fuengirola. Filming of The Crown is due to begin in October.
For the scenes in Malaga, the producers wanted an airport with a 1960s appearance, but none matched the description. The Palacio de Congresos in Torremolinos, however, is ideal. Retro panels showing flight times and advertising for the airlines will turn this iconic space into an airport for the third season, which is being produced by Palma Pictures in collaboration with the Malaga company A Film Location, run by Tate Aráez, which is finding the locations for some of the scenes in the series.
According to Netflix, the action in the third series takes place between 1964 - where the last series ends - and the 1970s, so the cast is being changed because the characters will be older.
The actress who played Queen Elizabeth as a young woman, Claire Foy, has been replaced by Olivia Colman (Murder on the Orient Express). It proved rather more difficult to substitute Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip. Hugh Laurie (Dr House) and Paul Bettany (The Avengers) were considered, but finally the role was given to Tobias Menzies (Outlander).
Also joining the cast are Helena Bonham Carter, who will play Princess Margaret; Jason Watkins (The man who killed Don Quijote) is to be prime minister Harold Wilson; and Josh O'Connor (Cinderella) will be the heir to the throne, Prince Charles.
It is hoped that this season the character of Camilla Shand will be introduced into the series; she was Prince Charles' girlfriend when he was a young man, and he remained in love with her during his marriage to Princess Diana. Now, of course, she is his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.