You'd think the inside of the long-since closed passenger departure terminal at Manston Airport would be stuck in the past - a monument to the day the airport shut eight years ago.
Yet, instead, the Thanet site has managed the unlikely feat of going back in time.
Because when you first enter you are greeted with a mock up of the front desk of Margate hospital from the 1980s. A sign above a nearby door is labelled 'Ward 1'. Confused? It's understandable.
But it becomes a little clearer when you realise that earlier this year the disused building was used as part of the set of film director Sam Mendes' Empire of Light movie starring the likes of Olivia Colman. Set in the 1980s, this doubled up as the front desk of the accident and emergency department.
And it was the busiest the building has been since flights were grounded back in 2014.
Since then the site has been locked in a relentless legal tug-o'-war between its owners RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) - keen to turn it into a multi-million pound cargo hub - and local opponents.
Yet while it has been at the centre of a political whirlwind over the years - parties at Thanet District Council were elected and rejected based on their views on the site while local opinion has been equally divided - the airport itself has stood still. Grounded, you could say.
We visit the site on a bright yet chilly October afternoon - given a rare chance to explore, alongside RSP director Tony Freudmann and Gary Blake, the airport's general manager and sole remaining direct employee at the site.
Today, the passenger building itself bears many of the relics of its past.
It is the building most obvious from the road - where once the airport's name was emblazoned across its exterior. Today it is just a rather nondescript white building.
It will be familiar to many in the area as they headed to the car park area where Covid testing was conducted for many months during the pandemic.
The red-carpeted departure lounge, once alive with the excited chatter of passengers, is today only filled by the gentle cooing of pigeons who have taken up residence in its roof space.
The Duty Free shop frontage inside remains - albeit with only the word 'shop' remaining on its sign.
Roof tiles and insulation dangle precariously, while the film crew were asked to leave the front desk - which looks highly realistic until you walk behind it to see its timber supports behind - on account of it "making the place look better than it did".
The last time I was here was when airline company KLM was launching its daily flights to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in 2013. There was hope in the air and a buzz about the place. Today it is empty, and, not to put to fine a point on it, rather sad. There is something gloomy about a place where industry once existed but has long since deserted.
As Gary Blake explains: "The passenger terminal building only had a 25-year lifespan - so no investment was made. It was always just a quick band aid over the top of something which needed fixing."
In a security room, a bank of old fat small screens remain.
"They were old when they were in use," reflects Gary.
They look like a museum exhibit of portable TVs from the past.
They are some of the few remaining fixtures and fittings. Most notable when touring the entire site is that every building has been stripped of almost everything.
When Ann Gloag bought the airport for the princely sum of £1 in December 2013 from previous owners Infrantil, she vowed to get low-cost airlines operating out of it. Within six months all the staff were laid off and it was shut down.
She then auctioned off all the airport's equipment. The result is just a ghostly shadow on the floor in one of the rooms of where the luggage carousel once stood. In what was once the security point for all checked luggage, the machinery has long since been shipped off to a new home.
As we drive across the site - some tenants still operate on the land; a helicopter dealer being one - we stop at hangars. Where once stood huge cold storage units - used to house goods flown into the airport - now only the outline remains.
The huge expanse of some are littered only with the debris of bird droppings.
In one room, off one of the buildings, is where horses would be imported. Gary tells me they've had "millions of pounds worth of racehorses" flown into Manston. Two stables remain - the others demolished.
Next to them sit a selection of boxes marked up as materials for use in the Empire of Light film - still bearing its working title 'Lumiere'. Sets were created in these vast spaces by the producers.
We rush down the runway - sending seagulls enjoying the heat from the tarmac - scattering in our wake. You feel as though you should be lifting up as the vehicle we're in picks up speed.
Instead I get a couple of urban myths burst. There is, I'm assured, no contaminated land within its perimeters. Apparently its previous, brief, owners, Stone Hill Park - which planned to turn it into housing - did exploratory work on the soil and found it clean.
Which is useful, as apparently an aquifer sits beneath it which provides 70% of Thanet with its tap water.
And no, it's not the longest runway in the country - but it might be one of the widest.
It certainly still bears the scars of its most recent use.
It was here where thousands of lorries were parked to help ease the chaos at Dover at the end of 2020 and into early 2021. A perfect storm of France closing its borders amid fears over Covid and new regulations caused by Brexit.
The clearly marked lorry lines still criss-cross the airport's tarmac. Elsewhere, gravel has been spread broadly to provide more hard-standing for the HGVs forced to stop here before being released to travel down the A256 into Dover.
The runway will need to be resurfaced before any planes start flying in or out again.
Next stop is the old control tower. Rooms downstairs where server systems were once based have been ripped out leaving only a few forlorn cables.
The room where once radar screens displayed a dazzling array of information about the aircraft in the skies surrounding us, again, just the outline on the floor remains where the desks once stood.
We climb a - somewhat shaky - metal spiral staircase to the main control room, disturbing the spiders who have covered its sides in cobwebs.
It offers perhaps unparalleled views down across the coast, down along Pegwell Bay, through Deal and Sandwich until you can just catch sight of Dover's ferry terminal. On a clear day, Gary says, you could see France. When it snows, he adds, "it used to look like a black and white photo from up here".
The desk itself has had anything of value ripped out and sold. Just a couple of old-fashioned corded phones remain next to buttons which wouldn't look out of place on the control panel of the original Death Star - as well as international stickers from destinations this airport once reached out to through the skies.
But there is, of course, hope of the horizon for this remarkable patch of land.
It may divide opinion, but there is no denying Manston Airport has a card which - if played correctly - will trump all opposition. It is offers the promise of industry in an era deprived of little else.
RSP is vowing to invest hundred of millions of pounds into the site to turn it into a cargo hub. If, and only if, that works, will the option of passenger flights be entertained.
It is the scale of investment, it argues, which will see it prosper while other attempts have failed.
And indeed, it is worth noting that while the perception is of decades of failure, the airport has only been fully privatised - it was, up until 1999 owned by the MoD (which, in turn, gave permission for some passenger flights to take place) - for 14 years prior to its abrupt closure eight years ago.
Explains Gary Blake: "The investment has never been there. We've always had to mend and make-do with what we had from its time as a military airfield to try and run a civilian operation.
"I started here in 1992 and there was never anybody who took this place and put investment into it to make it attractive for proper use.
"As we progressed over the years, going from company to company, trying to make Manston a success, it's never had the serious investment intent, up until now, to put the money in and make it what it needs to be."
The future, should it avoid any legal intervention, will be very different to what it has seen in the past - the remains of which litter the site today.
So why, I ask Tony Freudmann, director of RiverOak Strategic Partners, is its plan going to be any different to those that have tried and failed over recent years?
"What we decided early on," he explains, "was that we can only approach this if we are to invest seriously in the infrastructure and if we can find investors out there who are willing to do that. We have investors who have put in around £40m so far, all at risk, and other investors who want to follow through, once consent is finally given.
"The total cost is £500-600m and for that you get an airport which is capable of handling potentially one million tonnes of cargo. Which, in the context of the UK economy, has an important role to play.
"And Manston has never had that sort of infrastructure. It's had basic infrastructure with some rudimentary additions, going back to its RAF days, and that's it.
"Cargo is where this will live or die and people in the industry get that. But some local people don't. If it didn't work before, it isn't going to work again, they say. Well, only 14 years after it was privatised, with almost nothing invested in the place, it needs a chance."
When I ask the £500m question of just who are the investors he has lined up are, he's slightly more coy.
"They are private people," he explains. "They are represented by a private office in Zurich - all duly licensed and registered with the Swiss authorities - and they are British passport owners. That's all I can tell you.
"They have backed it for six years now, in the teeth of some opposition and delays, and they're still backing it.
"But once we get to the point we start to invest heavily in infrastructure there will be long term infrastructure investors coming along as well. An investor who has £60m to spend when he or she needs to spend £600m will of course go to an external source of funding."
Almost every building on the site will be demolished under its ambitious plans - returning it to a 'blank canvas' on which to construct, it hopes, a thriving cargo hub. By its fifth year of operation, it is promising to have created more than 2,000 jobs on the site itself and thousands indirectly.
If it works then it could provide jobs and aspirations for thousands of residents in east Kent which, in turn, will plough money back into the local Thanet economy - an economy which is, currently, almost entirely reliant on the tourism sector to carry it through.
If it doesn't, then its future, almost inevitably, will be housing.
Once the airport and its long, broad runway is gone, it's gone for good.
I've been sceptical of its ambitions in the past - having seen the site fail to deliver so many times - but you cannot help but thinking this place needs one more decent crack at being the success so many have pinned their hopes on.