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Let the Games Begin: Visit These ‘Hunger Games’ Filming Locations

The young adult dystopian movie franchise The Hunger Games is coming back to theaters for a two-day exclusive event. The movie, based on the book by Suzanne Collins, was originally released in 2012 and was a phenomenon for young adult readers and moviegoers alike. This Hunger Games renaissance is coming just a few weeks before the movie adaptation of Collin’s prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to hit theaters. Here are some filming locations that you can visit to get hyped for this special event.

Spoilers ahead, but these movies are over 10 years old.

The Hunger Games Filmed in Western North Carolina

The first movie in the soon-to-be five-part series was filmed entirely in North Carolina in and around the Asheville area. In the first book, Katniss says that she lives in an area that was once known as Appalachia, so filming in these wooded areas and old, abandoned towns made for an excellent backdrop, especially for the brief period of time that she is home in District 12.

Henry River Mill Village – District 12

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Image by Henry River Mill Village

Located halfway between Charlotte and Asheville, this historic town was the backdrop for Katniss and Peeta’s home in District 12. Visiting the area allows you to step back in time to see what a traditional textile mill looked like in the Carolinas . . . or it allows you to take a step into the dystopian future. The town was originally built in 1905, and in 2019, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

To get to Henry River Mill Village, take Exit 119 on I-40. There are walking tours and overnight accommodations available.

Pisgah National Forest – 74th Hunger Games Arena

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Image by Dennis Govoni

Parts of Pisgah National Forest were used as the backdrop for the arena at the 74th Annual Hunger Games featured in the first film, as well as the early scene where Katniss and Gale go hunting before the Reaping. Filming specifically took place in the Big Ivy Area of the forest. The scene where Katniss finds Peeta hiding amongst the rocks was filmed here. Unfortunately, the cave they hid in was created on a soundstage.

Catching Fire Filmed in Georgia, Hawaii, and . . . New Jersey?

Whereas the first movie was filmed in just one state, the second film in the series, Catching Fire, was filmed across the United States. Surprisingly, they did not return to any of the locations in North Carolina but rather opted for another Appalachian state for District 12 and much of the Capitol. And when they needed snow, they headed north to the Garden State. 

Atlanta, Georgia – Victory Tour and Pre-Show

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Image by the Atlanta History Center

Atlanta was used to film much of the time the victors  spent in the Capitol. The Atlanta Marriott Marquis is where they filmed that elevator scene between Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, and Joanna. The Victory Banquet at President Snow’s home was actually filmed at Swan House at the Atlanta History Center—and it is just as breathtaking in real life as it is in the movie. You can even walk around in the Mansion Gardens, which are kept in immaculate condition.

Ramapo Mountain State Forest – Snowy District 12

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Image by Klags

Though the Appalachian Mountains do not cross into New Jersey, there are a variety of beautiful locations that receive a decent amount of snow during the winter months. The opening scenes of Catching Fire were filmed in Ramapo Mountain State Park, which is near the New York-New Jersey border in Bergen County. Filmmakers also used shots of the New York City skyline for the Capitol.

Oahu’s North Shore – The Quarter Quell Arena

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Image by Shane Myers Photo

The 75th Annual Hunger Games Arena is vastly different from the one Katniss and Peeta see the year before. Rather than being in the middle of the woods—an area that Katniss is very comfortable in—they are sent to a tropical climate. For the clock-inspired arena, the crew needed access to the ocean and jungles. Much of the arena scenes were filmed at the Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu.

Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 Filmed in Paris and Berlin

When the third film, Mockingjay, begins, Katniss has been saved from the Arena and is in hiding in District 13, which has been built up after being bombed, although much of it is underground. Many of the scenes in District 13 were filmed on a soundstage, but many other shots of the Capitol—as well as many other districts—were filmed throughout several old cities in Europe.

Berlin – Districts 2 and 8

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Image by Chris Clor

Berlin Tempelhof Airport and Rudersdorf were used as the backdrops of District 2 and District 8 in Mockingjay Part 2. Berlin Tempelhof Airport and the park were designed to look like the area had been bombed and served as the background for battle scenes. Rudersdorf is located just outside of Berlin and has a variety of abandoned buildings that the crew filmed in and used as factories for aircraft in District 8.

Château de Voisins – President Snow’s Home

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Image by French Chateau

Though the exterior of President Snow’s home is located in Georgia, the interior scenes were filmed at the Chateau de Voisins in Saint-Hilarion, just outside of Paris, France. The stately château served as the perfect backdrop for the chilling scenes filmed there between President Snow and Katniss.

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