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The Last of Us: In what mall was it filmed?

How and where an abandoned mall in post-apocalyptic Boston was recreated.
The last of us

"The Last of Us" is an HBO post-apocalyptic television series based on the popular Naughty Dog video game. Filming of the series began in the summer of 2021 in Calgary, Fort McCloud, Beltline, Edmonton and High River. Impressive scenes of a post-apocalyptic metropolis that required the construction of entire neighborhoods, the closure of an international airport track and two months of negotiations with the city government were the subject of discussion along with the show's plot. 

The "Left Behind" episode, aired on February 26, focused on the past of one of the main characters, Ellie, who spends time in an abandoned mall in Boston connected to the city's power grid. The "Left Behind" episode was based on an original scene from the video game, which serves as a sort of prequel to the main events of the television series. 

The Lost of Us - left behind

Where was the empty mall scene filmed?

The series team found a real mall in Calgary to recreate the abandoned mall. Its name has not been officially revealed, but experts have determined it is the Northland Village Mall, which finally closed in 2021. 

Northland Village Mall

How was the abandoned mall turned into a 2000s American paradise?

Series production designer John Piano said the mall was almost completely dismantled and had a usable second floor, so some structures were recreated with CGI.

"The Last of Us" team additionally built over 40 pavilions with stores and fast food establishments to cover them in dust and mold. It also modeled a classic American mall of post-apocalyptic times. A carousel was brought into the mall specifically for the filming. It had been in the Northland Village Mall in the past but moved to another facility after it closed, so the crew had to arrange to rent it.

The Lost of Us - left behind

Lingerie, Starbucks, CVS and Target - none of them survived

"It was fun creating all our high-end stores, and they're all broken and everything. It was a lot of fun social commentary. Lingerie, Starbucks, CVS and Target - none of them survived," Piano commented.  

As for the arcade, their name and the trademark font used in filming directly refer to the game itself. The series' creators also used several real arcade machines, including Frogger, Tetris and Mortal Kombat. 

The mall featured on the show has a lot of famous American and international brands, including Foot Locker, The Body Shop, and Victoria's Secret. Most of the stores on the show are either ransacked or in a state of decline. At the same time, outlets with less necessary merchandise remain untouched. 


What's ahead for the series?

The series, a joint project between Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, Naughty Dog, The Mighty Mint and Word Games, premiered on January 15, 2023. It is already known that a second season of "The Last of Us" will also be filmed. The series has received critical acclaim and claims to be one of the best video game adaptations in history.

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