Movie stars Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig are pretty good in Wonder Woman 1984, but the unofficial film critics at DCist agree that the film’s other star, Landmark Mall, stole the show.
The defunct mall in Alexandria’s West End got an ’80s-themed makeover for its role as “Southfields Mall” in the recently released Warner Bros. sequel. The opportunity was something of a comeback role for the building, which has been empty since 2017.
The city of Alexandria and local businesses aim to take advantage of the buzz created by the movie’s Friday debut by highlighting local attractions and offering promotions.
Now through Feb. 28, a 7-foot drum that appeared in the film will be on display at 101 N. Union Street in Old Town Alexandria. In the movie, Gadot, as the Amazon princess Diana, throws a robber through the giant drum. It’s emblazoned with the Commonwealth’s famous tagline, “Virginia Is For Lovers.”
A slate of Alexandria businesses have signed on to offer Wonder Woman-themed specials, including “Wonder Woman Wednesday” deals at Port City Brewing Co. and Wonder Woman tattoo designs from inq Tattoos. There’s even going to be Wonder Woman-themed popcorn packages for sale (the popcorn is red, white and blue).
The city of Alexandria is also advertising a self-guided tour of movie- and TV-related sites in Old Town. Productions such as “Jackie,” J. Edgar,” and “Loving” were at least partially set there.
Lots of sites in the D.C. region are on display in the new movie. The first shots of the movie trailer show Diana living at The Watergate Complex. There are shots of the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Hirshhorn Museum, Natural History Museum and a long view down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Metro also gets its moment in the limelight. A scene with Wonder Woman and her love interest Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, takes place inside the L’Enfant Plaza metro station. Area locals on social media were quick to call out some inaccurate details that must have slipped through in post-prod, such as the inclusion of signs for Green and Silver line trains. Neither of those lines existed in 1984, the year the movie takes place.
While fans can easily wander around most of these sites, they won’t be able to get inside Landmark. The mall shut down again after filming ended in summer 2018.
But don’t worry, Landmark isn’t planning on becoming some typecast, out-of-work B movie actor. Its next role will involve another makeover and some serious method acting: Last week, the city of Alexandria announced that the mall will be incorporated into a new $1 billion Inova hospital campus. Filming — er, construction — is set to begin in 2023.
(dcist, photo courtesy of Clay Enos/Warner Brothers)