Go and have fun at Universal Studio, but if you're a movie fan and want to see a working movie and TV studio, visit Warner Bros. A guide takes you on a 2-hour tour of soundstages, sets, backlots and prop rooms when they're not in production. We saw a temporary exhibit of "Casablanca" props lent by collectors: Dooley Wilson's piano and Humphrey Bogart's tuxedo.
When we took the tour 10 years ago, Richard Thomas, star of the 1970s TV family drama "The Waltons" waved and said "Hi" as the tour van passed his movie backlot.
Since it's a working studio, Warner's limits the number of visitors to time-entry tours every half hour to reduce disrupting productions. Unfortunately, they don't allow children under 8.
Tickets are $42. Consider buying them in advance. Sometimes, same-day tickets sell out.
T-T-That's all Folks!
3400 Riverside Dr.
Theme park of extreme proportions that is well worth the price ($59). It's a day trip with loads of events and the famous train ride around the film lot.
On their website they actually write this:
"Located conveniently in Los Angeles, CA." Hilarious.
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.
Everybody, of course, goes to Universal Studios in Hollywood. Fair enough, it is the biggest but is it the best? It used to be but, alas, no longer. Now try the Warner Bros. studio tour and you'll see the difference, especially if you are a film buff like me.
Warners is far smaller but it is quieter and it is a working studio but most of all the moment you go round the back lots you can immediately see the sets for the familiar 30's and 40's films like Jimmy Cagney's 'Public Enemy', Bogart's 'Maltese Falcon' and Flynn's 'Robin Hood'. While these will mean nothing to the 'Sponge Bob' or 'The Shrek' generation, who will doubtless prefer to enjoy the hussle and bussle of the Universal tour, old fuddy-duddies like me will enjoy the 'WB's. They don't make'm like that anymore. Go enjoy!
Also, don't miss the small movie and TV museums on Sunset, Hollywood and Vine either. Many sadly do, you'll never forgive yourself.
Warner Bros. Studio is at Burbank. Universal Studios is at Universal City (on the way to Burbank). Hollywood Museum, Movie and TV Museum and Max Factor's old make-up palace (now also a museum) are all on or just off Hollywood Blv.
Michael Mann's sleek thriller is renowned for its two star turns, by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. But the real star is the city: Mann gives us that view, the grid of twinkling lights stretching to the horizon, but he also shows us the flat light of LA, the blank civic spaces under the freeways, the redundant industrial areas of another age, the equally redundant malls.
Roman Polanski and Robert Towne's semi-mythical take on the history of Los Angeles. This meditation on the illusion of the city offers a memorable glimpse into its history, culture and politics. Jack Nicholson gives the performance of his career as the private eye investigating a figure based on William Mulholland, the city engineer who made much of today's city possible.
LA is the movies, defined by and seen through its place in films like no other city. Los Angeles Plays Itself, a documentary by Thom Andersen explores the city in the movies, using clips from more than 70 films, from Blade Runner to Laurel and Hardy.
During the summer months, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, "home" of Hollywood legends like Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks Sr, Janet Gaynor, and Rudolph Valentino, is home to Cinespia, a film society that screens some of cinema's greatest films. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner and you're definitely in for a fun (and unique) Hollywood experience.
6000 Santa Monica Blvd (at Gower)
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