A computer rendering of a Netflix House

I for One Am VERY Excited for Netflix’s Immersive Experiences

Imagine if you could spend an evening dancing at an actual Bridgerton ball … or battle Demogorgon in the Upside Down … or (carefully!) participate in that iconic glass bridge challenge from Squid Game?

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Soon, you won’t have to use your imagination to experience your favorite programs in real life—you can head to a Netflix House at a formerly-empty mall near you! Netflix recently announced plans to open two massive brick and mortar shopping and dining complexes in two major U.S. cities. Called Netflix Houses, these 100,000+ square foot buildings will occupy vacant space at the King of Prussia mall just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and at the Dallas Galleria in Texas.

That’s right, say goodbye to that old empty Sears store, and say hello to an immersive “experiential” complex featuring themed restaurants, activities, gift shops, and events. The first two Netflix Houses are expected to open in 2025.

Bridgerton family dances in a big circle

Is there a market for Netflix Houses?

There’s plenty of precedent that says these new ventures will be a success. Disney and Universal Studios are prime examples of how entertainment can truly come to life inside elaborate theme parks. Before J.K. Rowling ruined her legacy with her constant hateful rhetoric, we couldn’t get enough of the Butter Beer and Quidditch rides at Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter, for instance.

Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData, told CNN that the key to Netflix House success could be making sure no two visits are ever quite the same. “One of the keys to success will be to keep the offer refreshed, so that it keeps people coming back to what’s new,” he said, adding, “Disney has monetized its content for years and has a very successful retail business through licensing, its own stores, and shop-in-shop concepts.”

Netflix has already been experimenting with real-life pop-up versions of their content around the world, and they’ve all been successful. Presently, one can attend a Knives Out-themed dinner party in Canada, explore the depths at a Stranger Things experience in Brazil, or attend high tea, Bridgerton-style, in Malaysia.

As Netflix chief marketing officer Marian Lee explained in a statement, “We’ve launched more than 50 experiences in 25 cities, and Netflix House represents the next generation of our distinctive offerings. The venues will bring our beloved stories to life in new, ever-changing, and unexpected ways.”

If they build it, will we come?

The idea is facing a fair amount of derision on Film Twitter but for plenty of fans (like me!), the question of whether or not we’d go to a Netflix House is a moot point. Of course I will! I’m a fan, and I’m also a sucker for a good theme park. Give me elaborate sets that I can stroll through, costumed characters I can interact with, and TV and movie-themed foods I can munch and I am one happy camper. I think it would be a blast to get down and dirty on a Squid Game set, especially since this version of the game doesn’t result in my permanent elimination.

Netflix Houses seem like a safe and fun way to bring some of our favorite entertainment to life, which is a (very welcome) wholesome offering for the world at large. I’ll be first in line when they open in 2025.

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Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.