How the first ever McDonald's restaurants were recreated for Michael Keaton's new movie

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The Founder Production Still Exterior at Night Keaton

The Weinstein Company

"The Founder."

In "The Founder," Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, a struggling traveling salesman who goes from selling milkshake machines to becoming the mastermind behind expanding the McDonald's fast-food chain in 1954 after coming across the innovative hamburger stand created by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald.

Taking the fast-paced kitchen and golden-arches design the brothers created, Kroc came onto the company as the person in charge of making McDonald's a franchise, and by the early 1960s, he was responsible for expanding the company across the country. He ended up buying the company in 1961 in a shrewd deal for $2.7 million.

To accurately portray the origins of the McDonald's empire, "The Founder" director John Lee Hancock called on the services of two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Michael Corenblith to create the first restaurants for the movie.

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Corenblith explains to Business Insider how he pulled it off.

"The Founder" is out in limited release Friday and opens nationwide January 20.

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