Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Pointe Orlando displays unofficial sets from 'Friends' and 'That 70s Show,' which may be more interesting than the real ones

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 11:07 AM

  • Image via Fourth Wall Sets

After weeks of being holed up in your own apartment, a new attraction at Pointe Orlando allows you to spend a few minutes inside two of TV's most famous residences. Both Monica’s apartment from Friends and Eric’s basement from That 70’s Show are on display at the pop-up experience.

The experience was slated to open in early June but was delayed due to the pandemic. Tickets through Aug. 15 have already been fully booked, but the attraction now plans to stay until at least Sept. 13.

Guests are required to wear face masks in the lobby area. Timed entry into the sets allows for only one party at a time inside. Between parties, the sets are cleaned. This allows for guests within the sets to be able to remove their face masks, making those selfies feel all the more authentic.

  • Image via Fourth Wall Sets

"Screen used" and re-creation sets are a popular part of many attractions. Warner Bros. has had success with its Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, and HBO is set to debut a Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Ireland. (That attraction was to open this year but has since been delayed.) Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta is planning to launch its own studio-tour attraction. Just up the street from Pointe Orlando, Madame Tussauds offers fully immersive sets for many of its more popular wax figures, including a large set with interactive photo-ops themed to DC Comics' Justice League.

Warner Bros., the studio behind Friends, has a set experience that’s a part of its Hollywood Studio tour. There, guests can get their photo taken on the famed orange couch on the “real Central Perk Set.”

The company behind the new Pointe Orlando pop-up experience, Fourth Wall Sets, is not affiliated with either production and the screen-authentic sets are strictly “artistic re-creations,” according to their website. Some in the industry have privately expressed concerns that this claim may not be enough to keep studios from trying to block the Orlando attraction from exhibiting show-specific sets.

The legal standing of fan-created content is still very much a gray area. Famously, CBS and Paramount threatened legal action against a fan-produced Star Trek film. That case was settled out of court, with the founder of the Kickstarter campaign to finance the movie acknowledging that the film, and a related short film posted on YouTube, were "not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law."

Fourth Wall’s fan-built screen-accurate “work of art” sets are unique in their detail and the experience they offer guests. Along with Monica’s apartment and Eric’s basement, their website also mentions a set from Seinfeld. No word on when, where or whether that set will debut.

Tickets to the Pointe Orlando experience are $15 per person. Tickets through Sept. 13 are currently available on Fourth Wall’s website.

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