The Starcourt Mall was a shopping center located in Hawkins, Indiana and a subsidiary of Starcourt Industries. The mall's opening in beginning of the summer of 1985 was inaugurated by Mayor Larry Kline.
The shopping mall is very much a reference to the real shopping malls of the 80's, and includes typical stores found in malls of the time, including many now-defunct brands that were common in a 1980's mall. The design style of the building, the interior decor, and the products displayed in the various stores are all typical of the 1980's.
Both Steve Harrington and Robin worked at the Scoops Ahoy in the mall's food court. The place quickly became a popular hangout for the main characters, though Eleven wasn't permitted to go there due to Hopper's concern about the excessive amount of people there. However, Max eventually persuaded her to go, insisting that with her superpowers, she had nothing to worry about.
Although Starcourt appears to be a normal mall at first glance, it was actually built as a front for a secret Russian base, which houses the first Key built on American soil. This base was hidden far underground. Starcourt Industries is apparently controlled by the Soviet Union.
Starcourt Mall was destroyed by a fire on night of July 4, 1985. It burned to the ground following the kids' battle with the Mind Flayer. A headline in the Indianapolis Gazette states that at least thirty deaths, including Hoppers', were caused by the fire. This, however, was false information, apparently put out to by the U.S. government, to conceal the true facts.
"Starcourt Mall is Hawkins' first premium shopping center featuring many trendy shopping facilities, where families, friends and teenagers can come together to hang out, shop, dine and enjoy." - Starcourt Industries
- The Gap
- Sam Goody
- Kaufman Shoes
- Wicks 'N' Sticks
- Regis Hairstylists
- Lovelace Lingerie
- Fine Perfumes
- Camera Repair
- JCPenney Home Store
- SHAPES Activewear Outlet
- The Game Player
- Chess King
- The Eyewear House
- ESPRIT - Coming Soon
- Spencer's Gifts - Coming Soon
- Scoops Ahoy
- Hot Dog on a Stick
- The Great Cookie
- New York Pizza
- Orange Julius
- Burger King
- Hawkins’ Heroes
- Hot Sam Pretzels
- Imperial Panda
- The Nut Shack
- Wyatt's Cafeteria
- The Ground Round
- Taco Bell - Coming Soon
- Starcourt Cinemas
- Time-Out Arcade
- Flash Studio
- LYNX Transportation
Behind the scenes
The filming location for the Starcourt Mall was the Gwinnett Place Mall, located in Duluth Georgia. In preparation for filming, a portion of the mall was remodeled to resemble a mall from the time period, including several popular outlets from the '80s.
During the filming of season three, many mall guests of the mall looked into the site through the separating curtain and recorded with their phones. This caused distress with the cast and crew.
The movie theater facade was built completely on the set.
In celebration of the third season's release, an event titled the Starcourt Mall Experience was held at Tower Records in Hollywood, California on July 5-7.
- Kaufman Shoes, one of the stores at the mall, was created purposely for the plot of the third season and didn’t actually exist in 1985.
- The name "Starcourt" is a possible reference to the Soviet Union's star and sickle flag, which itself appears in the opening scene of "Suzie, Do You Copy?".
- The name "Starcourt" is possibly a reference to a secret tribunal in Elizabethan England, which tried political opponents of Queen Elizabeth on trumped-up charges.
- The Gwinnett Place Mall, where filming occurred, closed in early 2021 and will apparently be demolished.
- "Stranger Things Season 3 Video" TV Line. July 16, 2018
- "Gwinnett Place Mall goes back to the future for ‘Stranger Things’" AJC. May 11, 2018
- "‘Stranger Things’: Everything We Learned About Season 3 On Set at the Starcourt Mall" Collider. June 14, 2018
- Stranger Things Experience