Lionsgate and Victory Hill Exhibitions team up for an interactive showing of costumes and props from the franchise at MGM Grand.
The Hall of Justice, President Snow’s Office, the Tribute Train, District 13 and an archery training experience set within a 60-foot-wide interactive screen are just a few of the environments that fans of The Hunger Games will immerse themselves in when a new exhibit dedicated to the films opens on the Las Vegas Strip on May 1. Featuring 30 costumes from the films and countless props, The Hunger Games: The Exhibition will be on display indefinitely at MGM Grand, taking the place of a CSI interactive experience.
“We are excited to be able to bring the stories of Katniss, The Capitol and District 13 to life in Las Vegas for fans through immersive sets, costumes and interactive experiences,” says Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate senior vp global live and location based entertainment. “The Hunger Games: The Exhibition features many new interactive elements that we know fans have been asking for. One of which is Beetee’s Training Lab, an all-new digital archery experience allowing fans to train like Katniss.”
A partnership between Victory Hill Exhibitions (a subsidiary of Cityneon) and Lionsgate, all of the pieces shown in this presentation were actually worn by the stars of the film. They include the red-and-black Mockingjay armors, Tigris and Peeta’s costumes as well as the Girl on Fire dress, the Mockingjay gown, Katniss’ Mockingjay armor and pin, the Peacekeeper armor and rebellion tactical gear and Katniss’ bow and arrows.
Most notable is the ensemble worn by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who played Plutarch.
“It’s not necessarily flashy, or anything like that,” says Michael D. Mattox, chief operations/technical officer of Cityneon/Victory Hill Exhibitions. “He carried around this [cross-body bag] on set as well as off. He always had it, and was always scribbling and taking notes. And actually inside, it still has his pens and his notebooks. He walked around all of the time with it, even out of character. And then when it was done, it all went together. That was a little hidden jewel that we found when we were going through everything.”
Another significant piece is the Mockingjay pin. “They made several props of the Mockingjay pin, but only one survived. The rest was either destroyed, or lost, or stolen,” Mattox says.
Lenny Kravitz who played Cinna, Katniss’ stylist carried a book with sketches of the real costume designs. “They didn’t keep absolutely everything. Especially in the early films, because they didn’t actually know how much of a success it would be,” he says. “We requested what we needed, and we got from them what they had, and worked it in.”
The showstopper is Katniss’ wedding dress from Catching Fire, by Tex Saverio, an Indonesia designer discovered by the film’s costume head, Trish Summerville. The gown, covered in Swarovski crystals with a metal cage, features an organza and chiffon skirt covered in Mockingjay-esque feathers.
Mattox has previously collaborated with other Hunger Games costume designers like Kurt & Bart on live productions in Las Vegas. He was with Cirque du Soleil for 10 years and also worked on Broadway and rock ’n’ roll touring shows, as well as theme parks. The company’s creative team is built of people cut from the same cloth.
Victory Hill opened the successful Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Interactive Exhibit at Treasure Island in 2015. Now, in addition, they have multiple touring shows including Avengers, Hasbro’s Transformers Autobots Alliance as well as Universal Studios’ Jurassic World – The Exhibition.
“Teaming with world-class partners like Victory Hill allows us to truly bring the world of The Hunger Games to life, with their expertise in high-quality immersive environments and exciting fun interactives that give fans a unique perspective of the films,” Brown says.
The big finale of this experience will be a multiplayer archery game, where up to 40 people can play at a time. “We put people into the exhibition and into the environment and we give them things to do,” Mattox says. “We like to push the limit. We don’t shy away from spending money to make it fun. We’ve been listening to the fans, and we’ve heard all these girls say, ‘I want to be Katniss.’ This gives [them] a chance to see what it’s like.”