Pierre Charalambides, who is based in Miami and one of the co-founders of the concept and Managing Partner at Dolphin Capital Partners, said the interactive, entertainment museum will launch in Canada at WEM in the first quarter of 2024.
He said experiences are based on some paradox or illusion that enables a visitor to immerse themselves into the experience and the exhibit.
The first location opened in Oslo, Norway in April 2022. Then in December 2022, the first North American location opened in Miami.
Today, the concept is also in Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm and Cyprus as well as Las Vegas, Orlando and New Jersey.
“We just opened in the American Dream in New Jersey. It’s doing extremely well. We’re opening probably during Q1 of next year 2024 and in about six months or maybe a little more at the West Edmonton Mall,” said Charalambides.
West Edmonton Mall and American Dream are both projects by the Ghermezian family.
“We are excited to welcome the first Paradox Museum in Canada to West Edmonton Mall,” shared Dean Shaben, Vice President of Leasing, West Edmonton Mall. “As a destination where our guests can shop, stay, and play, this addition is a natural fit to enhance our continuously evolving mix of retail and entertainment offerings that sets WEM apart from any other center.
Charalambides said the typical size of a Paradox Museum is about 10,000 square feet and the WEM location is about 11,000 square feet.
“It’s the largest mall in Canada and they have a lot of other entertainment venues,” he said. “They obviously have huge foot traffic coming to the mall itself. Within the mall they have a lot of other complementary entertainment venues. Often with other entertainment venues, it benefits us greatly because people come to the mall to do something.
“That creates a nucleus of attraction. That brings a lot of families. That brings a lot of schools. That brings a lot of corporate events. All of that has spillover effects into our own museum as well.”
Charalambides envisions more locations for the unique brand.
“We want to be in every large gateway city in North America and Europe,” he said. “Obviously where there is significant population and significant tourism. We have more museums coming in Dallas, Chicago, LA, New York, Denver, Atlanta.
“And in Canada we’re looking at considering ideally we’d like to be in Toronto, Montreal and Niagara Falls.”
“It’s exciting news to hear, but not exactly a surprise that something like this is coming to WEM. For as long a West Edmonton Mall has existed, it has been a truly unique experience, shared the YouTuber and West Edmonton Mall enthusiast.
“WEM seems to have a track record, tracing back to the 1980’s, of embracing new, whimsical, one-of-a-kind entertainment. The Paradox Museum Concept fits inline perfectly with the type of thing we’d expect to see at West Edmonton Mall, and further bolsters its plentiful offering of entertainment. The idea of strolling around WEM and experiencing something you won’t find anywhere else is, to me, at the very root of what makes it so amazing.
“Personally speaking, I’m really excited. As a long-time fan of the center, I can’t wait to visit the Paradox Museum once it opens.”
Charalambides said the concept is a museum with the most paradoxical exhibits in the world.
“There’s about 70 different exhibits. Some are rooms that you can immerse yourself into. Some are displays or boards that you look at. Every single exhibit has an effect that tricks the eye – so it creates a paradox. A paradox means there’s something that when you think is wrong or is false but when you understand it better it actually proves to be true,” he said.
“The exhibits are designed in a colourful fashion and every museum adapts to the regional environment. So a museum in Canada looks different than a museum in Las Vegas.
“Everybody can have a lot of fun as well as learn something while going through the various exhibits. It’s pretty unique. In a way, it’s not really a museum but an entertainment destination.”