The movie "The Hunger Games" was largely based in and around Charlotte, which starred as the Capitol of Panem. The city was abuzz during filming with cast sightings and cordoned-off filming areas and is sure to become a shrine for fans feasting on all things related to the movie. Here’s a look at behind-the-scenes spots:
Most fans would never guess that NASCAR could have an impact on the film, but the seats that the tributes sat in on the journey to the Arena were fashioned by ButlerBuilt Seat Systems in Concord. The unfinished aluminum frames fit just the right futuristic bill. Fully finished frames can be found in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Choose from a Blumenthal Performing Arts show at the Knight Theater in Center City. The stage here was the setting for the memorable tribute interview scene between Katniss Everdeen and Caesar Flickerman. Hundreds of outlandishly dressed extras were brought in to serve as seat fillers.
The Charlotte Convention Center was the scene of a pivotal moment in the film, with the underground loading dock setting the stage where Katniss becomes “the girl on fire.”
The vacant Phillip Morris plant in Concord was used to build most of the sets and stages for filming, which are still housed in storage in Charlotte.
The sweets that tempted Haymitch, Effie, Peeta and Katniss in the lavish dining car en route to the Capitol of Panem were created by local favorite Amelie’s French Bakery. Among the mix were tea cakes, petit gateaux and éclairs. Enjoy the decadent treats at locations in Center City and NoDa.
Spend a meal overlooking the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s Competition Channel at the River’s Edge Bar & Grill, where Woody “Haymitch” Harrelson was spotted more than once or twice while filming. He also frequented the biking trails and climbing wall.
Learn how to brave the Arena elements with a Survival 101 course at the center, where participants learn different knots and lashings and are taught how to build fires, administer first aid and identify plants that could save (or end – think Nightlock) your life.
Head to NoDa, a popular destination for Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson and Josh Hutcherson, who hung out at favorites including Cabo Fish Taco, Amelie’s French Bakery and The Evening Muse. Jennifer Lawrence even rented a house in this ‘hood during filming. Be sure to wave to the friendly firefighters at Station 7 along North Davidson Street. They made Lenny feel quite at home during one of his first evenings in Charlotte.
For home decor direct from District 12, head to The Depot at Gibson Mill, an 85,000-square-foot antiques mall where set designers bought more than $50,000 worth of merchandise to set the scene for the coal mining town.
To warm up for his upcoming tour, Lenny Kravitz performed a private concert at Bojangles’ Coliseum for cast and crew. See everyone from The Black Keys to Sesame Street Live at this historic venue.
The cast developed a taste for Southern cooking while in town. Lenny Kravitz admitted to indulging in Charlotte staple Price’s Chicken Coop for classic fried chicken, while Director Gary Ross ordered the pork belly at the Customshop restaurant on Elizabeth Avenue so often he garnered that nickname.
NBC 'TODAY Show' Video
In the real life forest of 'The Hunger Games'
North Carolina lures 'Hunger Games' fans
Raleigh News & Observer
'Hunger Games' stars leave memories in N.C.
The Hunger Games Take Over North Carolina
Dallas Morning News
Explore ‘The Hunger Games’ film locations in western North Carolina
Hungry for The Hunger Games?
Charlotte Business Journal
N.C. tourism agencies tout Hunger Games sites
The Daily Mail Online
The Hunger Games set to boost tourism in North Carolina
Los Angeles Times
North Carolina: Make like Katniss and Rue on 'Hunger Games' tour