‘The Hunger Games’ fans filling up lanes at Queens archery ranges
Pro Line Archery and Queens Archery report bump in traffic from movie buzz
Want to learn how to effortlessly fire an arrow into a bulls-eye just like Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen?
Well, get in line.
Jennifer Lawrence’s on-screen portrayal of the character, whose archery skills keep her alive during the movie’s title death match, is inspiring fans all over the city to strap on a quiver and pick up a bow for the first time.
The city’s two indoor archery ranges, both located in Queens, report as much as a 75% spike in traffic since buzz started swirling around the now blockbuster movie.
Joe McGlyn, co-owner of Pro Line Archery, said 18- to 30-year-old fans of the series began flocking to his Ozone Park range about four months ago.
“You’ve got to get there early to get a spot now,” said Pro Line regular, Jack Denley.
Hunger Games enthusiasts come in as novices, McGlyn said, but by lesson three, “they start to develop a very solid technique.”
“We show them how to hold the bow, the safety aspect for shooting, the whole concept,” said McGlyn, who will be competing in the Olympic trials for archery this year.
No need for newbies to feel shy, he said. Archers are happy their often-ignored sport is getting some attention.
“It’s exciting to see the young kids getting involved, which is great,” said Denley, who took his young daughters Bridgette, 11, and Katelyn, 10, to see the film opening night.
It’s obvious to the trained eye that Lawrence worked with an Olympian marksman, Denley said.
“The skills and the technique were excellent,” he said of the film, which shattered box office records last week.
But some of the showier moves, like when Katniss fires an arrow across a crowded room into an apple in the mouth of roasted pig, aren’t as tricky to pull off as they appear.
“Anybody can do that with proper training,” Denley said.
Chioma Armstrong, 22, of East New York, Brooklyn, hit her first bulls-eye after just a few hours of practice at Pro Line on a recent Wednesday. She said she always wanted give the sport a try, but was inspired after seeing the film the day before.
An achy shoulder the next morning made her think of the pain Lawrence endured during training.
“She must have been sore all the time,” Armstrong said.
Kaylyn Scardefield, a 22-year-old aspiring actress from East Harlem, said she always wanted to pick up a bow, but never had the opportunity.
The Hunger Games fan finally visited Queens Archery in Flushing three weeks ago to film a web series on conquering fear. It’s addicting, she said, adding she’s gone back a few times.
“It’s so much easier than you think,” she said. “I really want to get better at it. You’ll strive for perfection.”
“You feel so graceful, but at the same time, you feel fierce,” Scardefield added.