DOWNTOWN — This fall is about to become exciting for “The Office” fans.
The Office Experience, the largest official interactive fan experience based on the mockumentary sitcom to date, makes its U.S. debut Friday at The Shops at North Bridge on the Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Avenue. It will be based in Chicago until Jan. 17.
Seventeen rooms on two levels recreate the world of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, incorporating original props and costumes. Visitors will be able to take pictures at Pam’s desk, filled with Post-its and hearts for Jim; sit in Michael Scott’s office holding “the world’s best boss” mug; and enter Ryan’s closet.
They can also recreate some of the most iconic episodes of the series. Dressing up like sumo fighters for Beach Day, dancing in the chapel and visiting Schrute Farms are some of the unique scenes fans will be able to relive.
Monitors around the rooms will play highlights from the show.
To make the experience even more realistic, you can get your picture taken and get a Dunder Mifflin staff badge for $10 if booked online, $15 on site.
The onsite themed retail shop — a replica of the Dunder Mifflin warehouse — is open to non-ticketed guests. It has T-shirts, mugs and trivia games.
The Office Experience is a creation of Superfly X, themed entertainment company.
“It’s a very enjoyable, immersive experience for everyone,” said Michael Silver, president of Global Business Development for Universal Parks & Resorts. “There are tons of Easter eggs for super fans, but we also explained everything for those who are not as familiar with ‘The Office.’”
COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed. Hand wipes and sanitizers are positioned all around the building, and the visits will be organized for small groups of people to ensure social distancing.
Despite the challenges of opening The Office Experience during the pandemic, the “The Office” itself has seen renewed success in the past year. The show was streamed for more than 57 billion minutes in 2020, making it the most-binged series of the year, according to information provided at the experience.
“The Office,” adapted from a UK series of the same name, aired from 2005 to 2013.
Stacy Moscatelli, co-president and chief strategy officer of Superfly X, said one possible reason for the enduring popularity of the series is because of how the pandemic has upended working environments.
“It’s an incredible show, and it’s very relatable,” Moscatelli said. “But I also think that in the past couple of years, we had different office experiences from what is normal and traditional, and we have nostalgia for these relationships with our colleagues.”
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