Introducing THINGS TO DO, a new series featuring exactly what the title says — things to do here in Los Angeles, CA. Whether you’re new to the city (like me!) or are eager to play tourist in your free time, this series is all about getting out, seeing the city and making a few (in other words, a lot) of memories along the way.
First up, is something for my fellow film aficionados
If I’m not writing or working, nine times out of ten you can catch me at a theater. I once stayed there for 31+ hours straight. (Trust me. It was way more fun than it sounds!) My apartment is decked out in film memorabilia, and I quote lines from movies at least twice a day. In other words, I’m serious about cinema, so it’s no surprise that one of my favorite things to do city, so far, was tour Warner Bros. Studio.
How to Book a tour
One of my best friends came to visit from New York and after a few minutes of going back and forth over what to do, we decided to go on a studio tour. No hesitations, second-guessing, nothing. Film people, get friends like these!
Booking was incredibly simple. Being the indecisive, last-minute ladies we are, we booked the night before online at www.wbstudiotour.com and had no problems getting tickets. Once we were armed with our confirmation code and giddy with excitement, we called it a night. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure I dreamed about what I’d see the next day.
What to expect when you arrive
When we arrived the next morning at the Warner Bros. we followed the signs to the parking garage — which is a super bonus in a city with millions of cars, but such sucky parking — and made our way to the check-in desk/through security. From there we waited until our group’s time slot was called and soon after we were ushered into a small theater with a few other groups to watch a welcome video featuring Ellen! She walked us through what we could expect to see on our tour and handed out a few rules. Then the guides came in to collect us, and we were off!
What The Tour Includes
Warner Bros. Backlot
First up, was what had to be my favorite part of the tour — backlots!
Featuring over 95 years of history, the backlot portion of the tour allows guests to step behind the lens and see exactly where the movie (and TV!) magic happens. We got to see several streets in the area dubbed Anytown, U.S.A due to their ability to easily be transformed into well, any town, with a few signs and props.
From the Pretty Little Liars’ Rosewood High School to Luke’s Diner, I felt the spirit of each series/film as we moved through the lots.
The Wizarding World: Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Exhibit
Confession: I’ve never read a single Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts book, though I have seen one of the latter’s movies. That’s it. So, NOT a Harry Potter fan and still I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the tour. There are props from the film, photos, and my favorite, costumes!
I will say though, that this section wasn’t as extensive as it is in London. So if you’re ever overseas, the tour guide suggested checking that Warner Bros tour our, for more Harry Potter madness.
I have never seen so many old clocks and phones and lamps and vases in my life. Who knew there were so many different types of podiums? And every game system from every era? They’ve got ‘em. Of course, you can’t touch anything during this portion of the tour, but walking through the maze of random items is fulfilling on its own
Which soundstage your tour group gets to see depends on what day and time you go and which stage is available. We went on a weekend and got to see the soundstage for Netflix’s Fuller House. I nearly shed a tear at the thought of the show — which is surprisingly just as good as the original — ending after its upcoming season.
DC Universe: The Exhibit
I’m more of a marvel fan to be quite honest, but I was geeked out during the DC exhibit. Probably because everything we saw was either from Wonder Woman or Aquaman, which let’s be honest, are the two best movies DC has put out in a while. I said what I said.
75 Years of Batman
So many Batmobiles! Lighting is a little wonky so it’s hard to get photos, but just soak up the energy in there. It’s mysterious and expensive, and I was surprised at how much I learned about Batman and cars in like 20 minutes.
The (Really) Good Stuff
Stage 48: Script to Screen Soundstage
The Studio Tour concludes at Stage 48: Script to Screen, a self-guided area currently displaying recreated scenes from the Golden Globe-nominated and winning films, A Star is Born and Crazy Rich Asians. You get to experience the filmmaking experience from start to finish, gawk out original costumes. And if you’re a Friends fan, this part of the tour will be your chance to get coffee from Central Perk.
What to know before you go
Parking? Yes, there’s parking. Check the website for specifics.
Cameras? Okay in some places, banned in others. But that’s okay. Somethings are meant only for your eyes!
Anything else? Dress comfortably. Bring friends. Talk! If there’s something you’re excited to see or a love something produced by Warner Bros., let your tour guide know! My friend and I were incredibly vocal about our love for Gilmore Girls. So, guess what we got to learn a lot about during the tour.
Don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly film people. That was a lot of f’s. I know. And here’s another one for FUN, which is exactly what this tour is and is something you should do even if you don’t eat, sleep, and breathe entertainment.
For more details, dates and pricing visit www.wbstudiotour.com.