SDCC14: Journey to the Captiol in this ‘Hunger Games: Captiol Gallery’ tour!

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lyth-sdcc-logo-585-narrowerIMAG0269Lionsgate may not have brought a Mockingjay Part 1 panel to this year’s Comic Con, but they brought an entirely new fan experience to chew on: the Hunger Games Captiol Gallery, a Panem-themed Hunger Games installation of epic proportions. The Lytherus team was given a media tour of the experience and its exclusive trailer screening theater. We returned with pictures and more, all to help you experience the exhibit first hand.

Several days before the biggest pop culture convention in the world hit San Diego, Lionsgate announced that they were partnering with Samsung to transform a restaurant and bar at the Hard Rock Hotel into the Capitol Gallery, an immersive journey into the Hunger Games world built to look like a location in the Capitol.

We jumped at the opportunity to attend the event, which culminated with a private showing of the first Mockingjay Part 1 trailer. We were lead in through the back entrance to the Capitol Gallery and given a walk-through by one of the helpful staff, all dressed in full whites. We then made our way to the experience’s official entrance and experienced the Gallery for ourselves.

The first thing we noticed was that everything – from the ceiling and walls to the counters and displays – were a brilliant and shining white. Capitol engravings adorned the walls, reminding you that you were in the Capitol. Propaganda posters representing each District lined one giant wall, each featuring custom photos and messages promoting inspiring District residents. They were chilling and in some cases, downright haunting, but managed to add an odd beauty to help offset the Capitol Gallery’s otherwise eerie simplicity.

Upon entering the Gallery, fans were offered a chance to take a holographic photo with characters from the films. The photo could later be accessed on Samsung Galaxy devices and was offered to fans as a keepsake.

On the immediate left was Peeta’s Bakery, a bar area offering a variety of delicious baked goods including cookies adorned with powdered mockingjays and a number of Hunger Games inspired fresh juices. The bakery, located directly across from the wall of District residents, stood in stark contrast to the lives we’ve come to learn of in the films. Because this experience was sponsored by Samsung, ordering was done through Samsung Galaxy tablets.

At the end of the Gallery’s first hallway was a photo opportunity with several Captiol residents, dressed from head to toe in the ridiculous outfits we’ve come to expect from those who dwell within Panem’s wealthy Capitol. The real models all behaved as you would expect snobby Captiol residents to behave. “Who are these horribly dressed commoners and why are they so infatuated with our beautiful outfits?”

An engraving station was set up for fans who owned a Samsung Galaxy device, offering fans the opportunity to permanently decorate their phone with a number of Hunger Game options. Unfortunately none of our team owned a Samsung device leaving us unable to demo the station.

Fans who completed each station, ranging from interactions with Samsung devices to the photo opportunities described above, were rewarded with a stunning and exclusive Mockingjay pin, as seen on the Mockingjay Part 1 trailers and posters.

Having taken in the sights, sounds and treats of the Capitol Gallery, it was time for the real feature of the event: the exclusive screening of the first Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 trailer. Filming and photography was strictly prohibited – so strictly, in fact, that we were made to check any and all devices capable of capturing photo or video, including our cell phones.

We were then lead to a beautiful Capitol-themed screening room complete with individual pod-like white egg chairs. Each viewing attendee was assigned their own pod, ushered in by Capitol workers, and presented with a pair of headphones and a Samsung tablet. Before we were able to view the trailer, a Captiol employee escorted in by a mean looking Peace Keeper introduced us to the event (and took the opportunity to promote Samsung’s devices).

The trailer was epic, to say the least. It’s now viewable online, so we won’t spoil it for you with our thoughts or summary. Rather, you can view it here:

Because the Capitol Gallery was only open for two days and the lines wrapped around the Hard Rock Hotel, many fans did not have the chance to enter and experience the Hunger Games world. We did our best to take as many photos as possible. Below is a gallery featuring photos from all parts of the Capitol Gallery, with the exception of the trailer viewing room.

Be sure to check out the rest of our San Diego Comic Con coverage, including our exclusive media access to an extremely limited screening of four minutes of footage from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as our many other exclusive opportunities!

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About Author

Mike Macauley is the founder and editor in chief of Lytherus.com. He also founded and runs Shurtugal.com, the official Inheritance Cycle community, and published his book, The Inheritance Almanac, in 2011. Mike can be found on Twitter at @mikemacauley.

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