Shopping malls with a growing surplus of space have already leased to grocery stores and medical offices. Soon they’ll try out high-wire acts.
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group plans to open its first family entertainment center inside a mall in the greater Toronto area in September 2019, in a partnership deal with real estate firm Ivanhoé Cambridge. Discussions are ongoing for additional locations in Canada, the entertainment company said Wednesday. It’s also talking with other partners for sites outside the country.
Shopping centers across North America have been hit hard in recent years by an exodus of traditional retailers as more consumers shop online and demand experiences, such as entertainment, as part of their trips to the mall. Cirque du Soleil’s so-called Creactive centers will help the company diversify and fill empty storefronts.
The centers will be about 2,200 square meters (24,000 square feet) and offer acrobatic and other recreational activities, such as bungee jumping, aerial parkour, wire and trampolines and juggling.
“Our fans regularly express their wish to experience Cirque du Soleil from an insider’s perspective,” said Marie-Josee Lamy, Creactive’s producer. “We make that possible by inviting families to jump on stage, offering them another way to explore our creativity beyond our live shows.”