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SYFY WIRE The Continental: From the World of John Wick

Why Peacock’s The Continental Activation That Brought John Wick Hotel To Life in NYC Was "Total Head F--k"

Director Albert Hughes joined fans stepping into the immersive experience bringing The Continental to life in NYC. 

By Stephanie Gomulka

A director of Peacock’s The Continental: From the World of John Wick saw the iconic hotel at the center of the series come to life in a new NYC pop-up opening to the public this week. Not surprisingly, it was a bit surreal.

Albert Hughes directed Night 1 and Night 3 of the three-part event of The Continental. The show focuses on the hotel backstory in the 1970s and how a young Winston Scott (Colin Woodell) ended up at its helm. The hotel, a safe-haven for assassins, was first introduced in the John Wick film franchise starring Keanu Reeves and Ian McShane.

“It was a head f--k for me,” Hughes told NBC Insider. “I wasn’t able to shoot that location. We had to build it in Budapest.”

The actual building, located in the financial district of New York City, would work in a John Wick film, Hughes said.

“I love that chandelier of guns and skulls,” Hughes said of the experience’s transformation of the building into the look the show depicted. “It just was surreal, I guess, and especially being jet-lagged it’s like being on drugs. Did that really happen? Did I have a gold coin?"

What's it like inside The Continental Pop-Up?

Guests can register for Welcome to the Continental: The Hotel Bar Experience by buying tickets for their timed entry.

While waiting to enter in your best 1970s attire — which is strongly encouraged — a “reporter” from the New York Herald Tribune hands you a business card with a number to call and news to break…there was a murder conducted on the Continental grounds and it's your job to find out which assassin decided to break code.

RELATED: Everything to Know About The Continental

You can purchase tickets hereThe Hotel Bar Experience will be open for three stretches to coincide with the release of each episode of The Continental, beginning Sept. 21-24, continuing Sept. 27-Oct. 1, and concluding Oct. 4-Oct. 8. 

First, you can collect your gold coins to be redeemed for food or themed drinks.

Before entering, be sure to snap a picture with the 70s yellow cab placed in front of the building. Then, you can check in at the front desk.

The experience is filled with actors mingling with guests and taking them through different parts of the story. The concierge and the ajudicator might even give you a coveted luggage tag, which grants you access to a luggage room tucked in a back corner. Imagine a murder mystery cocktail party steeped in the lore of John Wick.

“I’m shy so when it comes to interactive stuff,” Hughes said about his time at the experience. “I just start laughing and getting bashful.”

From period-accurate LIFE magazine covers among the props, detailed costumes for the key players, and elaborate artwork…the building is dressed up to fully capture the Continental’s unique character and the period at hand.

As any good assassin — or John Wick fan — knows, the adventure shouldn’t stop there. Event-goers can make their way upstairs to accounts payable. There you can fill out paperwork detailing your weapons and tailor of choice.

RELATED: Where Does The Continental Prequel Series Fit Into The John Wick Timeline?

A stop at the kitchen brings guests face to face with the gory realities of the Continental. A crazed chef shows you the kitchen left bloody and in disarray.

To exit the experience, guests can leave through the basement where a cellist plays against the gloomy white sheets spattered with fake blood. For a moment you might think you’re at a haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights, while a looming henchman armed with hammers and wrenches menacingly sits guests down for your group’s farewell.

How to Watch The Continental: From the World of John Wick

Unlock the rest of the hotel’s history by streaming Peacock’s The Continental: From the World of John Wick. The first installment is streaming now, with new episodes streaming on Fridays.