In Los Angeles, the entertainment industry is part of our day-to-day life. We drive around and see bright yellow signs that indicate a production company’s “basecamp.” Something is always being shot somewhere in our neighborhoods. Movie premiere activity shuts down the major thoroughfares of Hollywood, harnessing the attention of curious onlookers. This fanfare fascinated me when I first moved here, but through the years the fascination fizzled and I became jaded.
Last weekend, my family and I and took the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, (located on the studio lot at 3400 W. Riverside Dr., Burbank), and within two hours my appreciation for the entertainment industry was renewed and regenerated. Here’s why:
The tour started with a short film about the studio’s impressive history and highlighted the prolific list of blockbusters the studio has produced since it was founded in 1923. The tour, made up mostly of out-of-towners, was then divided into small groups, each under the capable supervision of a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide/tram driver.
As we meandered through the 110-acre studio, we toured iconic set locations, heard anecdotes from our favorite movie and television shows and were let in on a few filmmaking secrets.
Highlights included a visit to the “Big Bang Theory” soundstage for a glimpse of various sets, and stops at the newly renovated Warner Bros. museum (a must-see for fans of Harry Potter and Batman) and the Picture Car Vault, a massive room with a secret-lair vibe that houses the vehicles from all seven “Batman” movies.
The afternoon culminated at Stage 48: Script to Screen, the tour’s newest feature. The which is a self-guided, interactive experience takes guests through the various stages of film and TV production.
Guests can explore the “Friends” set and get photos taken on Central Perk’s famous couch, be “miniaturized” to take part in a scene from Lord of the Rings and – my favorite – get a hands-on look at green-screen technology while flying on Harry Potter’s broomstick or riding recklessly through Gotham on a Bat-pod.
This is one of those Los Angeles attractions that will wow out-of-towners, and even us jaded locals, who are lucky enough to see the magic of entertainment happening right here in front of us every day.
Tours depart throughout the day starting at 8 a.m., Monday through Sunday. Visitors must be ages 8 and up to tour, tickets are $62 per person and reservations are highly recommended.
For more information, visit www.wbstudiotour.com or call 877-492-8687.