a sign that said look for the light at the nyc event for the last of us

The NYC Event for ‘The Last of Us’ Was an Incredible 2003 Time Capsule

I became a member of the Fireflies! In New York City, HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation teamed up with the Angelika theater to completely destroy my beautiful girl (as would happen in the apocalypse) for an immersive, early theatrical screening of the series’ first episode on January 12, 2022. The event let fans of the series venture into what the world would be if the Cordyceps infection stopped the world in 2003, which meant a theater in ruins and plenty of 2003-themed items at the event!

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Before I get into my favorites, I want to talk for a minute about how cool it was. Attendees got to talk into a broken down Angelika theater with posters littering the walls, but before we could even get in, we had to be tested.

Two Fireflies scanned us for Cordyceps—the zombifying infection from The Last of Us games and, now, TV series—and then gave us our tokens when we were cleared. From there, we went to different tables to talk to a member of the Fireflies militia group and tell them what we knew. I told one working on a map that there was a Firefly base out of Cranberry, Pennsylvania (which is right outside of Pittsburgh and near where I was born). So I got to stamp in on their map before moving on.

Then they had a Firefly using a radio to get a sense of what was going on in the world, so I had to communicate with “Boston” and get a signal. All of this was mixed with a foggy atmosphere and a genuinely fun time if you’re a fan of the game and are excited for the upcoming series. It also ruled getting “rations” of butter or truffle popcorn and taking pictures with a Clicker before heading down to meet “Charlie” and be a part of the team (watch the first episode in the theater).

But as a movie lover, I did absolutely love the 2003 movie theme going throughout the Angelika, so here are some of my favorite details!

The movie posters!

One of the first things I noticed going in was a fallen Big Fish poster. One of my all-time favorite movies, I thought that was a nice touch and then noticed that all the posters hanging were from that year. There was one for The Matrix Revolutions and, hidden behind people, I found one for Secondhand Lions and truly asked for them to move so I could take a picture with it.

It was such a nice touch, especially since we were in the Angelika, and I loved looking around and seeing which ones they were highlighting. Figuring out the 2003 theme really did just make this entire experience so cool (as that is when the Outbreak Day takes place in the show), and I had so much fun.

A news clipping

Another nice touch was a newspaper clipping of The Machinist. The movie was set to be released in January of 2004, and the Outbreak Day was in September, so it would be something that had posters or information out there to promote it. It was just such a nice touch and made the whole event feel like a time capsule.

Overall, the event was so much fun and something that really brought the brilliance of the show and the game together for fans to explore. I just wish I could have one of those beanies the Fireflies wore because they rule!

(featured image: Taken by Rachel Leishman at the NYC Last of Us event)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.