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'Stranger Things' fans bring cameras, wallets to Georgia

Updated : 2019-08-22 13:06:49

Soon after Netflix released "Stranger Things," fans of all ages came into Bradley's Big Buy grocery store in Palmetto, Georgia, dressed like characters from the show, and wandered toward the Eggo waffles aisle, cameras in hand. They sought out the exact spot where "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown filmed a scene as the character Eleven, and they're still coming three years later, even after the store changed its name and became part of the Piggly Wiggly franchise. Palmetto is a town of barely 5,000 people about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta where the grocery store cashiers greet customers by name. But after "Stranger Things" premiered in 2016, it became routine for employees to also welcome fans from around the globe. Fans have visited daily since the store reappeared in the third season on July 4, said Piggly Wiggly manager David Johnston. About 50 fans showed up on one particularly busy Saturday in mid-July, he said. The nostalgic '80s sci-fi series broke Netflix records with its third season. Within four days of release, 40.7 million accounts had started watching it and 18.2 million had already finished it entirely, Netflix announced on Twitter. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer set the series in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, but filmed in Georgia, which offers tax breaks and other incentives to moviemakers and whose economy in return reaps $9.5 billion annually from the film industry, according to a 2018 Georgia Department of Economic Development report.

In this Friday, July 26, 2019 photo, Ethan Curtis, a 10-year-old Stranger Things fan from San Antonio, eyes the Stranger Drinks menu while sipping on a Sheriff Hopper specialty drink at Lucy Lu's Coffee Cafe in Jackson, Ga. Behind him, family members Emilynn Guthrie, 9, and Layla Curtis, 13, are dressed like characters Mike and Eleven from Stranger Things. Lucy Lu's employees said the themed menu is popular among locals and fans who visit to see filming locations. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Friday, July 26, 2019 photo, Ethan Curtis, a 10-year-old Stranger Things fan from San Antonio, eyes the Stranger Drinks menu while sipping on a Sheriff Hopper specialty drink at Lucy Lu's Coffee Cafe in Jackson, Ga. Behind him, family members Emilynn Guthrie, 9, and Layla Curtis, 13, are dressed like characters Mike and Eleven from Stranger Things. Lucy Lu's employees said the themed menu is popular among locals and fans who visit to see filming locations. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Tuesday, July 23, 2019 photo, Brinley Rawson, a 17-year-old Stranger Things fan from Gwinnett County, snaps a photo of Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, Ga. Stranger Things filmed much of season three at the mall, which was called Starcourt Mall in the show. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Tuesday, July 23, 2019 photo, Brinley Rawson, a 17-year-old Stranger Things fan from Gwinnett County, snaps a photo of Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, Ga. Stranger Things filmed much of season three at the mall, which was called Starcourt Mall in the show. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Monday, July 22, 2019 photo, a box of Eggo Homestyle Waffles used as a prop in Netflix's Stranger Things sits atop a refrigerator in Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Palmetto, Ga. Stranger Things filmed scenes for seasons one and three at Piggly Wiggly, formerly known as Bradley's Big Buy, including a scene in which a character steals boxes of waffles. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Monday, July 22, 2019 photo, a box of Eggo Homestyle Waffles used as a prop in Netflix's Stranger Things sits atop a refrigerator in Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Palmetto, Ga. Stranger Things filmed scenes for seasons one and three at Piggly Wiggly, formerly known as Bradley's Big Buy, including a scene in which a character steals boxes of waffles. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Tuesday, July 23, 2019 photo, a sign discourages people from taking photos or video in the wing of Gwinnett Place Mall where Stranger Things was filmed in Duluth, Ga. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
In this Tuesday, July 23, 2019 photo, a sign discourages people from taking photos or video in the wing of Gwinnett Place Mall where Stranger Things was filmed in Duluth, Ga. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)
The success of Netflix’s Stranger Things series has influenced more fans to visit filming locations in Georgia. They dress up, reenact scenes and take photos where their favorite characters once stood. Local businesses are benefiting from the excess visitors and have started selling Stranger Things themed items. (Image: Facebook)
The success of Netflix’s Stranger Things series has influenced more fans to visit filming locations in Georgia. They dress up, reenact scenes and take photos where their favorite characters once stood. Local businesses are benefiting from the excess visitors and have started selling Stranger Things themed items. (Image: Facebook)
The nostalgic '80s sci-fi series broke Netflix records with its third season. Within four days of release, 40.7 million accounts had started watching it and 18.2 million had already finished it entirely, Netflix announced on Twitter. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer set the series in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, but filmed in Georgia, which offers tax breaks and other incentives to moviemakers and whose economy in return reaps $9.5 billion annually from the film industry, according to a 2018 Georgia Department of Economic Development report. (Image: Facebook)
The nostalgic '80s sci-fi series broke Netflix records with its third season. Within four days of release, 40.7 million accounts had started watching it and 18.2 million had already finished it entirely, Netflix announced on Twitter. Creators Matt and Ross Duffer set the series in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, but filmed in Georgia, which offers tax breaks and other incentives to moviemakers and whose economy in return reaps $9.5 billion annually from the film industry, according to a 2018 Georgia Department of Economic Development report. (Image: Facebook)
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