Just after the Tron: Legacy panel in Hall H, some friends who were following the viral marketing activities received a tweet with instructions. They just happened to be near the appointed location in San Diego’s Gaslamp district and ran to get one of the few packets that were being handed out. Each packet contained two entry wristbands for Flynn’s Arcade and a small replica light disc that hid a flash drive containing the new trailer. Since there were two wristbands, each person who received a packet was able to bring a guest, so that meant I got to go too! We arrived at Flynn’s Arcade a couple of hours before the scheduled time and there was already a small line forming outside. Everyone was wondering what we were going to see. As the time drew closer, more people arrived until the entire sidewalk was at least five people deep.
The doors opened and we walked inside to see…Flynn’s Arcade. As we walked in, we were handed a coin pouch containing game tokens. All of the game machines were covered and the neon signs were out or partially out. It looked like the place has been unused for quite some time… identical to the set from the movie. After they had allowed a small portion of the line inside, the doors closed and the arcade signs lit up. The doors on the other side opened and we walked inside. Deeper in was Flynn’s basement computer lab from the movie with all of the tech used to create the game verse. Once again everything looked unused until we had filed by, and then suddenly came to life, including the laser used to transport Flynn into the game verse. Another door opened and the blue laser light shone in our faces as we went deeper into the building.
We walked into what essentially was The End of the Line Club! There were sleek sofas with light stripes, walls with screens projecting abstract images, and the floor lit up. Walking around the room, I saw a mannequin with a fully functioning light suit, various props from the movie behind glass cases, including light shoes and character helmets. After milling about for a bit, Daft Punk music started to play and a bartender handed me an aluminum bottle of Coke Zero. This whole event was actually a party (sans alcohol)! More people filed in as they sent the next portion of the line through and things started kicking. Every now and then the lights would go down and the trailer would play on the back wall screen.
Just as my friends and I found a nice spot on the sofa to settle on, Bruce Boxleitner, Joe Kosinski, and Sean Bailey were there chatting and taking photos with attendees. Several ladies in skin tight Tron lightsuits walked in and started serving more bottles of soda. These bottles were pretty cool looking, I admit. We got to talk to and take pictures with Bruce Boxleitner and hung out for a while longer. The room was getting crowded as they allowed the rest of the line inside, but it was still cool feeling like we were inside the movie. Finally, my friend and I decided to leave and as we walked out, we were handed numbered posters commemorating the event. It was a fairly unexpected but fun night.
Flynn’s Arcade was open for people wanting to play games over the next couple of days, but sadly I never made it then. That’s OK – I got to go to The End of the Line Club.
See pictures from the event in our Media Gallery.