There is a reason why the Starcourt Mall, the main location for the third season of Stranger Things looks so real: it is built into a real shopping mall. It was mainly built in Georgia & Gwinnett Place Mall, which was built just a year earlier than the last season of the Netflix show.
Although the set is closed to the public and is currently being dismantled, enthusiastic fans have managed to sneak in to take photos of the interior and videos and the attention to detail is amazing.
Netflix built around 40 stores in the mall for the show, including period-bound versions of existing stores such as Burger King and Hot Dog on a Stick (complete with their authentic 80s uniforms), as well as original creations such as Scoops Ahoy, which apparently is a boat-shaped restaurant stall that you can only partially see in the show.
Along with other historically credible stores that visit the show's characters in the course of the show, there are nearly half a dozen additional stores that were built and filled with period-bound signage and products, but they never appeared on the camera. Typically, film sets are not a complete structure or space; it is cheaper to build the absolute minimum for a recording. The fact that Netflix chose to expand entire stores suggests that the filmmakers wanted a little flexibility with how they shot the show, allowing them to shoot from any angle without having to worry about an unfinished background.
For me, I am most interested in a store I have never seen on the screen: a reconstruction of a mother-and-pop years & # 39; 80 computer and video game store called "The Game Player", right next to the cinema. (Photos & # 39; s through @nekoarc.) pic.twitter.com/yKryQ6sAOL
– Andy Baio (@waxpancake) July 11, 2019
Such an unused store is a WixandStix. In the first episode of Netflix & # 39; s Behind the scenes podcast, decorator Jess Royal details the amazing lengths she went to to build a set that didn't make the cut. In fact, the candle shop came out so fitting that apparently there was even writing of it in the show, although these plans never came true. Apparently the mall itself was transformed by a scrapbook that the production team found while exploring the location, with images of what the mall looked like in the & # 39; 80s.
Atlanta local newspaper AJC reports that the set is currently being dismantled after Netflix reportedly decided not to place it anymore as a permanent tourist attraction. Unfortunately, it sounds like the mall can really use the change. Most units of the mall are apparently now empty, with only a handful of stores left.
Now that the retro mall is probably disappearing forever, we can at least make a video round that one of the fans could have filmed on YouTube last year and posted to YouTube, complete with old storefronts and products in the shop windows.