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Apsys and Warner team to build Gotham City in Paris


Laurent Taieb: “It’s all about emotion”


MALL operators are turning to the power of storytelling to animate their spaces, and in a groundbreaking deal French landlord Apsys has formed a partnership with Warner Bros. to bring a Batman-themed attraction to one of its Paris malls. The scheme was unveiled at the MAPIC conference session Activating Brands and Spaces: the Power of Storytelling.
Moderator Laurent Taieb, president at Licensing International, told delegates: “Storytelling embraces experience through characters - it’s all about emotion.” And he added: “The emotion is the key part because it creates a link to that place that will make you want to come back again.”
In the most powerful example of this, Apsys will bring Batman Gotham City Adventures to a 2,000-sq m space in Paris in 2022. The format was the brainchild of escape room specialist Dama Dreams. Co-Founder David Harari told the conference: “It’s taken a year to finish the deal and sign contracts with Apsys and Warner Bros, but even before that we worked on the storytelling and then took the idea to Warner. We knew they wanted to do live entertainment and we though Batman was perfect for the format. It’s an 80-year-old IP.”
And on the other side of the deal, Harari explained: “We knew the format needed a big space, and Apsys was looking for something that could be the future of their malls.”
The attraction will be split into four zones, sitting somewhere between escape games and immersive theatre. In addition there will be a shop and a bar/restaurant. “Even the store will be immersive, but it will be open to the mall,” Harari said. “And the bar will allow you to enjoy the atmosphere of Gotham City even if you don’t want to play the games.”
Large-scale attractions require major investment from both the mall owner and from the operator, and Bart Dohmen, CEO at Limited Snow, said: “The issue is how do you earn your money back? That can be directly or it can be in the broader picture, but there’s always a solution. Our approach is that we’re there to attract footfall to the mall.”
 
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