Stranger Things 3 still doesn't have a release date, but Netflix did release some interesting news via Twitter. Hawkins, Indiana — the fictional town where the show takes place — is getting a new mall. In a grainy, '80s-style ad, the Stranger Things team revealed that the "Starcourt" Mall has come to Hawkins. The advertisement is replete with '80s callbacks: There's a Sam Goody (a record store), an '80s-style Gap, and an Orange Julius stand. At one point, a man dances to the sound of music from his walkman. (The ad is not that dissimilar from the fake ad made in the season 2 premiere of GLOW.)
At the very end of the ad, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) appears, proffering ice cream. He's working at an ice cream store in the mall alongside Robin, a blonde newcomer played by Maya Hawke.
The mall as central setting for Stranger Things 3 makes sense. Each season thus far has focused on a teen-centric hangout. For season 1, it was Dungeons and Dragons. For season 2, it was the arcade. Each time, the games held hints about forthcoming plot points. (Remember when the Demogorgon "got" Will in the opening scene? We see you, Strange Things writers!) The same goes for the arcade: At the season's start, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is plugging away at Dig Dug, an arcade game that involves digging. Later, Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) dug his way into an evil tunnel. If we're following this trend, then the Starcourt Mall will hold the secret to some potential plot points. (Maybe. The show likely won't premiere until 2019.)
Per AJC.com, the Stranger Things team transformed Gwinnett Place Mall, a local Atlanta spot, into an '80s dream back in May. The Gwinnett Place Mall opened in 1984, right around the time that Stranger Things takes place. AJC.com reports that the made-over mall contains a cinema, a Time Out Arcade, and a Jazzercise studio. See more photos of the renovated mall at ToNeTo Atlanta.