Calling all victors: It’s time to travel to the Games

Kayla Aldridge

 

Calling all victors: It’s time to travel to the Games

Visitors enjoy an interactive experience while walking through scenes from District 12, District 13, the reaping ceremony, the training arena and the resistance headquarters. Fans can make decisions resembling those in the movies, and learn fighting moves that were practiced in the training arena during the movie.

When the visitor first enters the exhibit, they are greeted in a dark room by a figure on a large screen: the character Effie Trinket. It is the reaping of the Hunger Games, but instead of being sent to the games, the visitor is transported into the life of the Hunger Games cast, seeing the world of Panem through their eyes.

Upon exiting the initial room, fans are led into the mining area of District 12— Katniss’ home. Clothing worn by Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne is displayed on mannequins alongside props taken directly from the movie.

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A mannequin poses in the dress Katniss Everdeen wore in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Next, the twisting hallways lead to the woods, where Katniss and Gale hunted in the first movie. Here, various tools and wildlife are interactively displayed. Images of flowers from the woods, for example, are propped up on a board, with information beneath them elaborating on their relevance to the storyline.

The infamous train scene in which Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch and Effie were transported to The Capitol is recreated with the exact props.

Next, the exhibit moves on to the resistance headquarters, where one can see the bunkers. Toward the end of this area, the visitors are able to create their own resistance-style propaganda.

The tour through the exhibit ends in a fan gallery. The gallery holds hand-drawn pictures of various characters and scenes from all of the movies. 

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Visitors lounge in a scene-replica of the train ride Katniss, Peeta, Haymich and Effie were taken on on their way to The Capitol.

After the gallery, the visitor arrives in the gift shop where they can buy Hunger Games memorabilia, including t-shirts, propaganda posters from The Capitol, baking supplies from Peeta’s bakery, keychains and more. If the visitor chose to be filmed as Katniss or Peeta in the chariot activity, they will be able to watch the video here. Alas, the journey through Panem is complete.

Primrose Everdeen, played by Willow Shields, and Pollux, played by Elden Henson, both visited the exhibit for the first time on Feb. 9. While walking through, they reminisced about memories made while filming the movies.

“It still hasn’t hit me that we will not be doing another film. One would expect us all to be crying during the premiere of the last movie but we weren’t. We were just remembering the memories we had made,” Shields said.

Henson agreed, adding that working on a project for nine months builds everlasting friendships.

“I would say that my life has changed drastically since the release of the first movie. I started when I was 10, and now I am 15,” Shields said. “It has taken up a huge part of my life. I grew up with Jennifer Lawrence as a mentor. It’s been pretty cool.”

Henson’s life has changed as well, in a different way.

“The day after I stopped filming, my son was born. I’ve been taking care of him for most of the time since the movie was released,” Henson said. “The amount of love that the fans of these movies have is incredible. It’s been great to be part of this franchise.”

Toward the beginning of working on the film, Shields struggled due to her young age.
“In the first couple of movies, I was 10 and 11. I was doing extremely emotionally draining scenes, like the reaping scenes, which is a very intense thing at such a young age,” Shields said. “I was given the chance to grow with my character, but it was really challenging.”

Henson was most excited to work on the film because of his niece and nephew’s love for the Hunger Games books. He was also a fan of the director’s work.

“[My niece] was the first one who I told that I was going to be part of the franchise. She was so happy,” Henson said. “I started reading all of the books and getting as much information about them as possible so I could be ready for the first day of filming.”