Seeing Hollywood Studios
Millions of people visit Hollywood annually in hopes of experiencing the film and television experience. Although Hollywood was once the epicenter of film and television production However today most major studios and television networks have relocated out of Hollywood to build large studio back lots where land was more accessible across all neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Gaining access to the studios for tours and as audience members of tv shows is relatively easy. Knowing where all the studios are and setting a game plan of what each studio produces is key. Just over the hill from Hollywood is the San Fernando Valley where Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Disney Pictures, NBC and ABC all call home. In Hollywood proper, the last major studio to remain, Paramount Pictures, maintains a formidable presence on Melrose Avenue. Near LAX is the Sony Pictures lot that has a history dating back to the 1930s when owned by MGM. All of these studios are home to daily productions of movies, tv shows, commercials and game shows.
The most easily accessible studio is Universal. Less than 20 minutes from the heart of Hollywood in Studio City (San Fernando Valley), Universal is more than a studio but a complete theme park. Universal Studios most famous attraction is its tram tour. Trams depart every few minutes and take visitors on an extensive hour long tour of the studio backlot. Visitors will get to see an intimate look at various sound stages, cross rickety wooden bridges, witness great floods and see actual houses, city centers and old west towns that were used in hundreds of movies. Universal Studios prides itself on switching up the various attractions along the tram route. However one of the stops along the route that has been thrilling guests for decades is the Jaws experience. As the tram rides along a lake shoreline, a mechanical shark leaps out to the surprise of tram riders. In addition to the tram tour, Universal offers a whole park with roller coasters, shows and exhibits dedicated to the biggest movie franchises of all time.
Adjacent to Universal Pictures in Burbank is the Warner Brothers lot. SImilar to Universal Studios, Warner Brothers is a broad studio with dozens of sound stages and outdoor city sets. Warner Brothers offers a combined walking and cart tour of their backlot, however the tour is not as extensive as those offered by its neighbor Universal Studios. Warner Brothers tours are a combined golf cart and walking tour experience. The tour takes visitors through the various alley ways between the sound stages, facades and outdoor sets. The tour lasts a total of a little over 2 hours and includes a stop at the Warner Brothers museum where visitors can see up close and personal props and costumes used in some of the biggest movies ever made. For those looking to do a tour and be a part of a live studio audience, the Ellen Degeneres show films daily on the Warner Brothers lot. The price of the tour is $45.00 and runs Monday through Fridays.
There is an upgraded tour where for $195 guests are taken onto actual live movie sets as well as a lunch at the famous Warner Brothers commissary where visitors are guaranteed an up close and personal sighting (or even interaction) with one of their favorite movie stars.
Paramount Pictures is one of the last studios to maintain a presence in Hollywood and offers a combined walking and cart tour of the back lot. Paramount Pictures is an expansive studio lot that is located about 2 miles from the Hollywood and Highland Center. The Studio includes several sound stages and offices for producers and studio executives. Visitors looking to embrace and experience Hollywood's past will probably find the Paramount tour to be the highest value over Universal and Warner Brothers as the Paramount lot is far older and has been in continuous production of movies before both Warner Brothers and Universal. Thousands of movies, television shows and commercials have been filmed on the Paramount Pictures lot. In addition to the tour, visitors will be able to visit the Paramount Store where t-shirts, DVDS and memorabilia from their favorite movies of all time are for sale. The cost of the the Hollywood tour is $35.00 and guests need to be 12 and up.
Sony Pictures is located south of Los Angeles in the city of Culver City that is adjacent to LAX. This studio lot like all the rest in Los Angeles includes sprawling back lots, sound stages and history. The studio has had many names over its long history as its ownership has changed hands many times from MGM to Columbia Pictures. It was this studio lot that several classics including the Wizard of Oz were fjlmed. The studio offers a daily walking tour of its sound stages and facilities. The Sony Pictures lot is slightly smaller than the Paramount and Warner Brothers lot-therefore a cart is not utilized. It is the Sony Pictures lot that game shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are taped.
Studios, movies, television and Hollywood are all synonymous with each other. A studio tour during a trip to Los Angeles can be exciting and educational and will leave visitors with a greater appreciation and understanding of how their favorite movies and television shows are made.
Overview of the movie studios of Hollywood and the various tours they offer. For information on studio tours in Hollywood, see http://www.journeycontinent.com/LOSANGELES/Attractions/studiotour.htm
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Seeing Hollywood Studios
Posted by Travel Leaders of Fargo at 10:44 AM