Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Hollywood, is a great reason to play tourist at home if you live in LA. When people flock from all over the world to take the tour, why aren’t we visiting?
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Having lived in Los Angeles for over 25 years, one would assume I’ve been to all the local attractions. For example, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Hollywood, is exactly 4.4 miles from my house.
Disclosure: my daughter and I were hosted by Warner Brothers Studio for their tour, with no conditions for a favorable review. As always all opinions are my own.
I drive past the Warner Brothers studio lot all the time, several times a week, on occasion. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that it actually occurred to me that I hadn’t take the tour. Why had I not taken the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Hollywood, when visitors from all over the world flock to it daily? Because it’s taken for granted; it’s so close, I can go anytime I want. The problem is, when something is that close, we won’t ever go unless we actually put it on our calendar, which is what I did–finally!
My daughter, Denisa, had actually already gone on the Warner Brothers Studio tour in London. Yep, she lives 4.4 miles from the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Hollywood, and went to the one in London, first. Figures, right?
Let me give you a little tour of the tour, so to speak!
Tram tour of the Warner Brothers Lot.
This is the mode of transportation across the lot. It’s easy to jump in and out and there’s no bad seat to be had.
Every group has their own tour guide who explains each stop and gives some information on the buildings and facades that we passed on the backlot. For example, the photo on the right is the location where Spiderman received his upside-down kiss in the rain from Mary Jane. Apparently, it was a very complicated (and dangerous) scene for Tobey Maguire. The problem was that he was hanging upside-down with water running inside his nose for hours. Who would ever have known?
Countless old movies and old (and current) TV shows have been filmed on the Warner Brothers lot. We saw buildings used in Back to the Future to La La Land, The Gilmore Girls, ER, The Dukes of Hazard (who remembers that show?), Pretty Little Liars, and a favorite of mine, The Big Bang Theory.
Many of the homes on the lot look as though they would fit right into the neighborhood, but none of them are truly “functioning” homes. Some are even simply facades.
It’s really fabulous how so many different TV shows and movies were all shot in the same small area, but are unrecognizable from one to the next.
We learned a bit of history about the location and the Warner brothers, themselves. Apparently, there were four brothers who delved into the movie industry, but Jack Warner took the limelight. Let’s just say the term, “ruthless” might be appropriate as an adjective. More about Jack later.
Harry Potter and the DC Universe Exhibit
Our guide drove us to the next part of our visit, which was indoors. We were free to explore two floors of exhibits (Harry Potter and DC Comics). The Harry Potter floor upstairs was our favorite, and we spend more time there. Denisa was even “sorted” by the sorting hat, and put into Slytherin! Ha ha!
With a visit to the costume department, she might have suited the Wonderwoman cast a bit better than the sorting hat.
Wait, you didn’t think you’d get through one of my posts without a food photo, did you? From Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Not actually real food, mind you! Here’s my no knead bread recipe if you fancy good bread now.
Next, we were off for more touring around the backlot!
Although we weren’t able to go into all the sound stages, we passed by so many of them. Big Bang Theory, Pretty Little Liars and Ellen were the most popular shows currently being filmed. This is the tallest sound stage in the world. Apparently, built to impress a girlfriend!
The one sound stage that we visited was for the Ellen Degeneres Show. We sat in the studio audience and were able to walk up to the stage and around the back where the VIP waiting room is. After seeing quite a few live TV performances, I have to say that everything seems larger on the screen.
Outside of each sound stage is a plaque which names the successful series or movies that were shot there. Here’s one I took a photo of because my dad was born in 1936 and my mother loves Calamity Jane!
If you’re a Batman fan, you need to go on the Warner Brothers Studio tour, simply for this extensive exhibition of Batmobiles! I couldn’t believe how many there were, but then again, I’m not caught up on watching all of the Batman movies, either.
Stage 48: Script to Screen
This part of the tour is more interactive and hands on for certain displays (not the photo directly below). As entitled, “Script to Screen”, the exhibits showcase pre-production through post-production. For example the costume design and creation.
Everyone gets a chance to sit on the Friends couch for a photo opp! You can even get a chance to star in a little clip they film with Monica and Phoebe, which was fun to watch.
Next, there are lots of props and sets from different shows (many are current, so I didn’t recognize them), but my daughter knew a few of them, like Pretty Little Liars.
I loved this set!! It was so much fun to see how our eyes can be tricked with photography. Forced perspective in action.
Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve ever told you before how much of a WB Looney Tunes fan that I am. I am a huge fan. When we were newly married, my husband woke up to me sobbing in the living room one morning. He initially thought someone had died, but soon realized that I was just up watching Saturday morning cartoons (Looney Tunes, of course) and was crying from laughter.
So when the lady holding the Oscar (which everyone is able to hold for a photo) told me that the Oscar was for “Birds Anonymous” , I could barely contain my joy! I exclaimed, “You mean the one with Sylvester?!” The lady was a bit taken aback I think, as I am probably one of the few visitors who has even known that “Birds Anonymous” is a cartoon. Would you have known? Let’s suss out the real Looney Tunes fans ?
According to the lady holding the Oscar, Jack Warner, who had nothing to do with this Oscar win in 1957, still charged up to the stage and claimed the statuette as his own! This is the reason that two Oscars are now made for every winner. Remember I told you that Jack wasn’t such a nice guy?
Holding this Oscar was honestly the highlight of my tour. It made my day and I couldn’t wait to tell my Dad who is also a huge WB Looney Tunes fan. He’s actually an even bigger Sylvester fan!
Denisa and I looked at more Oscars, props (like HP wands), and costumes (like hats from My Fair Lady).
Additionally, there’s the interactive and computerized green screen sets where you can be part of the action on film. For example, you can ride a broomstick in a Harry Potter scene, or ride through the streets of Gotham City in a bat-pod!
One of the most interesting things I saw was Jack Warner’s address book. Can you see the names of his friends? Cecil B. De Mille and Walt Disney, I understand, but I had to google Jack Warner and Salvador Dali. Now it makes sense, he painted portraits of Jack and his wife.
Central Perk Cafe
Finally, before going shopping in the Warner Brothers Studio store, you can pop into the Central Perk Cafe for a cup of coffee or tea and a bite to eat.
The Warner Bros. Studio Store
Lots of cool Warner Brothers merchandise here, and even some things you can’t buy!
I hope you can take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour one day. Have you already been? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments below!
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Disclosure: my daughter and I were hosted by Warner Brother. for their Studio tour. However, no conditions were made for a favorable review. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.