Ever since the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy was published in 2008, fans have been fascinated by Panem's dystopian society. Now thanks to the recently opened The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, they will be able to experience it firsthand.
Located at Manhattan's Discovery Times Square, it features over 1,000 props and 46 costumes that were used in the first three movies. Ten interactive games dispersed throughout the exhibition allow visitors to immerse themselves into the dystopian world created by Suzanne Collins. Ardent fans can also download a Mobile guide that features hidden content which is revealed at specific Exhibition locations. It also gives them access to filters and stickers for social media photos and allows them to view deleted scenes from the previous movies.
The excitement begins as soon as fans enter the doors where a life-size filmed Elizabeth Banks AKA Effie Trinket welcomes them with the declaration, "May the odds be ever in your favor." Visitors will then find themselves amidst the poverty-ridden lands of District 12. Here they will be able to peer into the Hob, the black market where Katniss initially received her famous pin and interact with an extensive map of Panem that outlines the history of each district. For those interested, there is also a quick tutorial on Katniss Everdeen's incredible foraging skills.
Visitors can then "hop" aboard the Tribute Train that transported Katniss and Peeta to the Capitol. Within its beautiful mahogany interior, fans will be able to admire Effie Trinket's colorful ensembles and a variety of other film memorabilia. Upon arriving at the Capitol, visitors can view other iconic props. Among them is the chariot that Katniss and Peeta rode during the tribute parade and President Snow’s mansion where the victory party was held.
Of course, no Capitol experience would be complete without a peek into Cinna’s design studio. Fans can take an up-close look at his famous sketchbook, which includes the drawings of the “girl on fire” dress.
Following the glitz and glamor of the Capitol, visitors are transported to the "Training Center." Here they can practice Katniss-style combat moves with the help of a screen image of stunt coordinator, Sam Hargrave, or learn how to tie knots and shoot arrows.
The intense training will help fans feel more confident about entering the venue of the infamous "Games." Here Holographic technology provides a closer look at what went into making the Cornucopia as well as the “Tick-Tock Clock” arena. An authentic looking Gamemaker’s table provides scientific information regarding the hazards of the poisonous fog, lightning fires, force fields, and manipulative mutations.
The darker undertone continues into District 13, the hotbed of the rebellion. Lessons on propaganda, as well as the opportunity to create their very own “propo” (propaganda film), help visitors, understand more about the fighting spirit of this underground district. At the end of the tour, visitors can admire fan-inspired art and even pose in green capes for a chariot picture while waving to the crowds featured in the background. A gift shop greets those exiting with a vast array of merchandise, all featuring the famous Mockingjay logo.
For those unable to make the trek to Manhattan, there is some good news. After completing its six-month stint in Manhattan, the exhibition will embark on a global tour starting with San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Exhibition Hall in February 2016.
Resources: northjersey.com, guardian.co.uk, hungergamesexhibition.com