This town was built on the movie business, which still employs millions. While independent production companies and the demolishing of what was called the “studio system” of movie-making have changed the game since the Golden Age of Hollywood, we’re still the entertainment capital of the world. Take a glimpse into the magic that makes it all happen.
Universal City, CA 91608
This is the big kahuna of studio visits. You not only take a tram ride around the working lot, you’ll stop in at soundstages and attend demonstrations on 3-D filmmaking, computer-generated imagery and lots more. You also get a mega theme park with rides based on hit films like Jurrasic Park and Shrek.
Sony Pictures Studios
10202 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Although no longer housed here, this is the original MGM Studios where classics like Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind were shot. But certainly no slouch now, as Sony’s Columbia & Tri-Star Pictures the Spider-Man franchise holds court and TV faves like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune tape here. You’ll walk the backlot streets the greats did, see displays of Academy Awards and memorabilia, and hear how a real studio works in today’s high-tech world.
Warner Bros. Studios V.I.P. Tour
3400 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91522
This “V.I.P.” tram tour takes you through the backlots and soundstages where movies have been made for over 80 years. You’ll see the sets and craft shops where the artistry continues. The “Deluxe” tour lets you inside the craft shops and sets to see and talk to crews at work, and includes lunch at the studio commissary.
The Studios at Paramount
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038
The oldest working studio in L.A., the Paramount tour takes you via tram and by foot through the huge lot where films from Sunset Boulevard to The Godfather to Transformers were made. A 5-acre backlot area recreates eight New York neighborhoods.
Unfortunately CBS and the other historic film studio, 20th Century Fox no longer offer studio tours.
Born and raised in L.A., Andrea Renskoff’s knowledge spans trendy hubs to the diamonds in the rough to escapes from the ordinary. She currently writes about food, travel, families, health, wellness and lifestyle.