Fans occupy Krikorian for `The Hunger Games'

By Kristina Hernandez, Staff Writer

Posted:   03/22/2012 06:10:26 PM PDT

Hundreds of fans camped outside of the Krikorian Theater in Redlands this week in anticipation of "The Hunger Games," which opened at 12:01 Friday. (Kristina Hernandez/Staff)

REDLANDS - Fans of "The Hunger Games" trilogy camped outside of the Krikorian Theatre in Redlands as early as Tuesday in anticipation of the midnight release of the first film based on the popular series.

Camping outside of the Krikorian theater has become some sort of a novelty for fans of various book series adapted to the big screen, including those who enjoyed both the "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" series.

Snacks, iPods, cell phones, books, blankets, tents and extra clothing are essentials for die-hard fans as they keep themselves occupied throughout the week until the clock strikes midnight Friday.

Written by Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games" tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who volunteers herself as "tribute" when her sister, Primrose, is chosen from a lottery to compete in the annual event where one boy and one girl - ages 12 to 18 - from 12 "districts" of Panem fight to the death in a game where only one survives.

"We came out at about 9 p.m. Tuesday," said Bill Bailey, 19, of San Bernardino . "We actually got the books and really liked the (them). `Hunger Games' kind of spread around through word of mouth and everybody started reading the books and (they) just catch you right away. It's something that you'd want to read."

Bailey brought along a tent and extra clothing and blankets to keep himself warm during the cool nights outside of the theater, as well as a football and copies of the series to pass the time.

"The Hunger Games" features a variety of characters from different walks of life. As for Bailey, his favorite is Gale.

"I really wish that he was in the hunger games, but I'm excited to see him portrayed by Liam Hemsworth and see what he's going to do with it," he said. "I'm also excited to see the scene... of the opening ceremonies and their costumes, because it was such a visual part of the book.

"I want to see how it will translate to film."

Wearing a custom made "Hunger Games" shirt, Krista Curtis, 18, of Redlands took her place in line outside the theater along with her mom Rowena, sister Kayla, 16, and friends Nicole Prusa, 28, and Kristina Ayoub, 22 on Wednesday.

The Redlander said she wanted to camp out because she "loved the books."

"One scene that I'm really excited for is the scene where Rue dies in the area. I'm probably going to be bawling," she said. "I just hope that the movie really matches a lot of the book, which I heard that it did, because Suzanne Collins wrote the screenplay.

"I'm really excited for it."

Joseph Spoelstra, 19, also of Redlands , also secured his place in line Wednesday to see the film.

Why camp out for "The Hunger Games"? Because the first book was "phenomenal," he said.

"I think Gale does some pretty awesome stuff throughout the series. And I think watching Peeta do all his interviews will be a lot of fun (to see on the big screen)," he said.

As far as his game plan going in, Spoelstra said he doesn't really have one.

"It's all been chaos," he said. "One of my friends brought chairs, and I just kind of had a book with me. That's all I showed up with, and other people brought something else. It's teamwork.", 909-793-3221, ext. 317, @TheFactsKris