News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


‘Hunger Games’ craze invades U Village

March 13th, 2012 · No Comments

UW News Lab

The Hunger Games' stars Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson sign autographs at U Village.

The star cast of the new movie The Hunger Games made its final stop Saturday, March 10, at University Village. Actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth were available for autographs and a Q&A session.

The 100 earliest-arriving fans were given wristbands for access to the signing at the Microsoft store.

The Village visit did not go unnoticed by the tweeners of Seattle, despite the poor weather. Amanda Dootson, a waitress at a University Village restaurant, said, “I could probably count on my fingers and toes how many teeny-boppers were screaming ‘I volunteer as tribute!’ while waiting in line to meet the cast.”

By 10 a.m. the parking lot was packed and fenced areas were filled with fans. By 1 p.m., it appeared that thousands had shown up for the event, and the occasional meltdown could be spotted for those who weren’t granted access.

Free posters were given out and music played for the duration to keep morale high for hopeful fans. Event those not granted access could view the stars from a distance for the Q&A session later in the afternoon.

A common theme during the Q&A was “Will you go to prom with me?” and high shrills every time an actor spoke.

Some controversy surrounded the access granted to fans.

According to the University Village webpage, fans were technically allowed to line up only beginning at 7 a.m. Camping out the night before was not permitted.

It was apparent that people started camping out the night before and many came earlier than 7 a.m. The web page states, “Be one of the first 100 people in line on March 10 at 9 a.m. to receive a VIP pass to this special event!”

Vanessa Radatus interns for the company who managed the talent. She said there were hundreds of crazed and screaming teenagers who started lining up to get wristbands as early as 2 a.m. She also noted that a young girl appeared to get trampled when the actors were heading to their cars. Fire trucks arrived at the scene.

The Hunger Games Seattle Facebook page is filled with posts from angered fans who felt that those who arrived early broke the rules. Other sources mention that there was poor organizing of the event. It’s highly likely the coordinators of the event couldn’t have predicted such a high turnout.

Not familiar with “Hunger Games”?
Published four years ago, The Hunger Games is the first novel in a young-adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Don’t be discouraged by the plot — it depicts the struggles of adolescents who are selected by a lottery to compete to the death in an arena.

The general appeal comes from a love triangle between protagonists Katniss, Peeta and Gale, along with the themes of human nature, rebellion and survival.

The second book is called Catching Fire, followed by the third, Mockingjay.

The film adaptation is of the first novel only. The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross and was written and produced by author Collins. It will be released worldwide on March 23.

The Hunger Games stop Saturday in Seattle was the last in an eight-city series of the star cast’s week-long mall tour. Other stops included Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Dallas and Minneapolis.

For screening hopefuls on March 23, be wary of the craze and enthusiasm surrounding the film. You may be subject to lines or fandom similar to that witnessed on Saturday at U Village.

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