When it comes to attractions, Los Angeles has enough to rival any major metropolitan city. When friends or colleagues come from out of town, they always ask what are some of my favorite spots to visit; it’s always been the same list. Disneyland, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Academy Awards Museum of Motion Pictures, and Universal Studios Hollywood. As you can already tell, there’s a running theme of my love for Film and Television. When the opportunity came to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve had my share of Production Assistant jobs and even worked on a series at Warner over ten years ago, so I assumed I knew a lot from working there, and I was so wrong.
First things first, the Warner Bros Studio Tour focuses on all things production. Don’t expect any ride attractions or a day of churros and butterbeer. This is a fully working studio that has produced 100 years of classics, and you’ll see them on display. When you arrive for your tour, the staff whisks you into a beautiful theater where a short reel presents a bit of what you are about to experience and the history of Warner Bros in general. After the reel, they pair you in a group and send you off on the tour. The tour can run from three to three and a half hours. The guided tour is an hour and trust me when I say you see a lot.
It’s All Temporary
If there was one word that describes how incredible the backlot is, it’s hand’s down “temporary”. Every inch of the backlot has been reused, refurbished, rescaled you name it, because of how temporary everything filmed is. The old subway station from ER has temporarily been changed to the front of Abbott Elementary! As you can see above. And their “Any town USA” square has been used in countless films and TV series.
Following that, have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a coffee and scone at the Central Perk from FRIENDS? They have an actual Central Perk! Filled with Friends props and merch. “Stage 48: Script to Screen” is the self-guided part of the tour and probably my favorite part of the whole tour. It’s an interactive soundstage that gives you the unique experience of exploring the full process of a television series or film production. During my visit, they installed a brand-new exhibit just in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month that highlighted costumes worn by actors such as Shay Mitchell, Ken Jeong, Nicole Kang, and more.
If you ever wanted to sit on the couch from the Central Perk or the couch from The Big Bang Theory, then you’re in luck because they have some incredible photo ops. From the broken elevator to the Caltech Physics Lab Cafeteria, if you’re a Big Bang fan, you’ll be excited. The highlight of this section was hands down the movie clips you can film in front of a green screen and be part of The Dark Knight and Harry Potter.
Before You Go
For the grand finale, you’re sent to the “Action & Magic Made Here” section. You’re fully immersed in the world of House of the Dragon, The DC Universe, and the Harry Potter Wizarding World. It’s every geek’s dream, to be honest. From stepping into the Batcave and seeing the ’89 Batmobile to having the sorting hat placed over your head and getting assigned to your proper house (of course I got Hufflepuff), you’ll want to stay here for hours! And don’t worry you’ll have time to spend all your money at the WB Studio Store at the very end.
To prepare yourself, there are four tour options. Studio Tour, Classics Made Here Tour, Studio Tour Plus,
and Deluxe Studio Tour. So, if you want to explore a true gem in Los Angeles and you’re a film and TV buff, then the Warner Studios Tour is for you.
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