SDCC 2011 Preview Night – The Gaslamp District

Since I didn’t have access to preview night, I thought I would check out the Gaslamp District and see where the big offsite events are going to be set up. Some of them are already open for attendees, so if you’re like me and have to wait until tomorrow to get into the convention, there’s still a lot for you to do.

Click past the jump for a photo tour of what you’ll find in the Gaslamp District this year.

BioWare is holding court in the Hilton Gaslamp again this year – the same location where EA showed off Dead Space 2 and Dragon Age II last year. Hopefully we’ll get some inflatable lightsabers as swag.

Syfy’s annual Cafe DiĆ©m is home to the same spot as it was last year as well, right on 5th Avenue. And as you can see, it’s already open for business and packed as usual.

Just up 5th Avenue from the Cafe Diem is CoCo himself, The Museum of Conan O’Brien, complete with a lego statue of his superhero self. This one wasn’t yet open for business – hence the discouraging man standing in the doorway.

At the corner of 5th Avenue and L Street, Japanese restaurant Nobu was decked out in Amazing Spider-Man decor.

In front of the Tin Fish restaurant, between L Street and the Trolley tracks, was a movie screen looping the Total Recall logo. Nothing more, so let’s see if there’s a bigger viral campaign launched later in the week.

Turning my back on the Gaslamp District, I took a quick shot of the Immortals banner draped over the Marriott Marquis & Marina Hotel at dusk.

I took a look inside the Hard Rock Hotel for any celebs and then scooted upstairs for a peek at Microsoft setting up for the Xbox Lounge in the Edge room on the second floor.

Here’s the Marvel Monstergeddon offsite on 6th Avenue. This was the same location as Flynn’s Arcade last year. Lots of smoke, superheroes posing for photos and monster trucks. On Thursday July 21 at 5pm, they’ll be unveiling a special monster truck to the masses.

Right next door to Monstergeddon was the Sega Arcade set up with playable kiosks of upcoming and just-released titles, such as their Captain America movie tie-in, their Aliens side-scroller for the 3DS and their new Kinect title, Rise of Nightmares.

That’s it for tonight – be sure to check back tomorrow for coverage from the first official day of San Diego Comic-Con!

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