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Calling All Replicants: A ‘Blade Runner’ Bar Just Popped Up in Melbourne, Australia

Blade Runner Bar from Blade Runner 2049
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The original 1982 Blade Runner proved to be a remarkable turning point for sci-fi cinema. Thirty-five years after its debut — and a full 50 years after Philip K. Dick released the source novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — fans continue to dissect and scrutinize every scene, character, and line of dialogue. Needless to say, the film’s legions of followers have spawned all manner of fan fiction, Comic-Con costumes, and exhaustive fan forums. Now, a week before the highly anticipated debut of Blade Runner 2049, a Blade Runner bar has popped up.

It’s difficult to imagine how a three-decades-old sci-film that depicts a bleak, dystopian future full of warring humans and androids might inspire a watering hole. Nevertheless, we’re intrigued by Melbourne’s Cinema Nova theater’s announcement of Bar 2049, a one-off conversion of its Nova Bar & Kitchen into a fully immersive Blade Runner-themed pop-up bar. The art house has screened the original film many times over the years. Street artist Chris Hancock has created exclusive wall murals for the space, and filmmaker Ben Helweg crafted specific Blade Runner-inspired video installations. Large LCD screens, neon lighting, lasers, silver unicorns, and creepy mannequins round out the atmosphere. The entire experience will be soundtracked with audio that blends Vangelis’ original film score with synth pop.

Every aspect of the Nova kitchen is pulling visual and artistic inspiration from the original film and its forthcoming sequel. The “Tastes from the Future” dinner and cocktail menu will include drinks like The Offworld and Nexus 9. No word yet on how many concoctions will make use of Rick Deckard’s (Harrison Ford) drink of choice (whiskey ).

Themed bars, especially of the pop-up variety, appear to be the modern expression of ultimate fandom. We’ve previously covered LA’s Tim Burton-inspired Beetle House and New York’s permanent Oscar Wilde . The mose recent, a Stranger Things-inspired bar called The Upside Down, also proved to be wildly popular (that is, until Netflix put the kibosh on the whole unlicensed spin-off). With this last bit of news in mind, Blade Runner fans may want to get to Bar 2049 soon before the fine folks at Columbia Pictures shut this one down too.

Bar 2049 opened Thursday, September 28, and will run through the end of October.

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
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