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A tipster reports that Apple admen at TBWA/Chiat/Day built a full-size replica of an Apple Store on the Warner Bros. lot, in total secrecy, over the Memorial Day weekend to film a commercial that will air for Steve Jobs's keynote June 9 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. Why build a fake store when Apple has so many real ones it could film in for free? (Shown here, Apple's latest store design.) Shutting down a real store, as Apple did recently in Manhattan, likely draws too much attention. If true, this rumor goes to show the price Steve Jobs is willing to pay to stage a surprise. The tip:

Seen over Memorial Day weekend, Apple built a full scale store on a sound stage at the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. On Memorial Day they proceeded to shoot a commercial that will be part of Steve's announcement on June 9, a la Steve's favorite team at TBWA/Chiat/Day. This was no small feat. This was a full scale and fully operable store, complete with laptops, iMacs, the kids pod, software and accessories on the shelf, functional genius bar. Everything you'd see at at the Apple store, was on the lot/soundstage (same one that The Perfect Storm was filmed on) in working order. The store took 2 days to build. Tear down was complete Monday evening (memorial day). Only a handful of people were allowed to stay for the shoot and no extras/actors were seen in the "store" when the shooting commenced.

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