A Los Angeles movie studio tour is, in all likelihood, your best chance for a celebrity sighting during your trip to LA. Sure you can hang out at the Ivy and watch producers you don’t recognize have lunch with each other in expensive looking suits, but even if you wish upon your favorite star, you have little chances of running into them.
Your odds go up considerably on a tour of one of the big movie studios around the city. On these tours you’ll be driven around the studio on a golf kart tram and have trivia about famous Hollywood productions whispered in your ear by Whoopi Goldberg. The tours are often genuinely funny and at Universal Studios, they are a highlight of the park.
The tours at Universal Studios include stops by the lake where “Creature from the Black Lagoon” was filmed, as well as a trip past the house Alfred Hitchcock made so spooky in Psycho. Numerous other artifacts from the land of TV’s and movies are on display such as the set of War of the Worlds, and the TV show CSI. The celebrity sightings become a possibility when the tram stops near the soundstages at the end of the tour.
You can check the Universal Studios website for information on what is being filmed during your visit and get information on deals and shuttles from your hotel near Disneyland and discounted food in the park. Universal Studios is open from 9-6 on weekends, 10-6 on weekdays.
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100 Universal City Plz
Universal City, CA, 91608
You’ve seen the famous WB water tower on Looney Tunes and you know the off-rhythm chattering of the frog, so see the studio for yourself on a studio tour. Although there is not a theme park attached, the Warner Brothers studio is a 120 acre series of working film sets with the prestige and history to match any studio in town. The Warner Brothers tour focuses more on the sets of current TV shows and explains what is needed to produce some of the special effects like fake snow (instant mashed potato flakes) and other Hollywood tricks.
Warner Brothers’ promotional material boasts that Tom Cruise once hopped on a studio tour in order to hear about the history of one of the sets and there is a famous story that Martin Sheen once loaned his jacket to a cold visitor with the promise that it would be returned to the studio .
3400 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
A 70 minute walking tour of the studio departs every half hour at the NBC studios not far from the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank. On it you’ll see the set of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several sound studios with shows filming on them. Your tour gives you something of an insider’s view of the workings of a TV studio, but the tours sell out fast during the peak summer season and all tickets are on a first come basis.
3000 W. Alameda Ave