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Saturday, 22 September 2012 16:42

Warner Bros. Studios Tours

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Where else on the planet is it possible to encounter movie stars on a break during filming of their latest movie or shooting hoops outside a soundstage after filming today's scene?

Nowhere except on the legendary Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour.Warner Bros Studio Tour PicmonkeyVisitors almost part of action.

Indeed, as they pass through the same gates as Hollywood's leading actors, directors and producers do daily, guests of the Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour are offered a rare look into the world of entertainment, with an intimate view of the inner workings of a thriving motion picture and television studio.

The Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour transports guests on a one-of-a-kind journey, immersing them in today's most popular movies and television shows. The tour represents an extraordinary opportunity to explore inner Hollywood surrounded by actual filming and production amidst yesterday's and today's most famous sets, sound effects, music, props, scenic art and special effects.

Because nothing is staged - this is real Hollywood at work - there is no telling what, or who, lucky visitors might encounter. The VIP Tour gives guests a snapshot of what's happening at Warner Bros.' working studio and transforms then into industry insiders.

In the early days of the Studio, James Dean could frequently be seen speeding through the lot on his motorcycle, but on one special tour, it was Tom Cruise who actually boarded a cart filled with guests to listen to the tour guide's history of New York Street and its transformation into ancient Tokyo for the movie "The Last Samurai." Stunned visitors couldn't believe their luck, but the reality is that on the VIP Tour, guests regularly come face-to-face with the industry's biggest stars. Martin Sheen once loaned his coat to a chilly guest with the promise that it would be returned to the soundstage after the tour.

Founded in 1923, the Studio's historic lore is well-documented. From the very first talkie, "The Jazz Singer," to the legendary films "The Maltese Falcon," "Casablanca" and "Rebel Without A Cause, " from TV classics "Maverick," "The Waltons," and "The Dukes of Hazzard," to today's hottest shows including "Two and a Half Men," "Mike and Molly," "The Mentalist," "Two Broke Girls" and "The Big Bang Theory," Warner Bros. Studios is an icon known the world-over.

The Studio itself sits on 110 acres in the heart of Burbank, California and features 30 working soundstages on the front lot and a number of versatile backlot outdoor sets seen in countless productions.

Warner Bros. Studios productions have received more than 200 Academy Awards and numerous Emmys and, as a result, a journey through the backlot sets will leave guests feeling quite familiar with their surroundings. It is on these sets that hundreds and hundreds of films have been made including "The Music Man," "My Fair Lady," "Bonnie and Clyde" and several others.

Because every day at the world's busiest movie and TV studio is different, no two VIP Tours are the same. Tour guides are in constant communication with the Studio's production coordinators and whenever possible, guests are escorted onto an active soundstage or backlot film set for an up close and personal look at the sets, props, lighting and special effects that go into the making of a Warner Bros. Studios feature or TV series.

Nowhere else in Hollywood is this possible. In addition, guests are frequently allowed to stand within inches of the action for a bird's eye view as cameras prepare to roll.  On occasion VIP Tour guests have even been cast as extras in film and TV productions.

Whenever possible, tours are personalized to accommodate the group's

interests and desires:


If a guest has a specific interest in motion picture music, he or she might find themselves on the Eastwood Scoring Stage for a lesson in the mixing and recording of vocals and film scores.


Artists may enjoy a visit to the scenic art department, where they'll encounter studio employees hand-painting scenic backdrops, portraits and murals on canvas stretched across a giant wood frame.


Fashion aficionados will marvel at the 60,000 square foot costume department that houses over 50,000 pieces of jewelry, 30,000 shoes, 10,000 hats and 4,000 purses ranging from the pre-historic to the post-apocalyptic eras.


At the Warner Bros. Mill, visitors are not only walked through the massive facility housing the paint and metal shops, but they are introduced to the talented artists and craftspeople responsible for the hundreds of sets built on the Studio lot each year.

In the 6,300-square-foot Picture Car Museum, car enthusiasts can take photos with the "car stars" made famous in some of the most popular movies and television shows, including the Batmobile, the flying car from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," the General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazzard," and the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine.

Visitors also have an opportunity to explore Hollywood's only studio museum. The Warner Bros. Museum contains a remarkable collection of memorabilia from the Studio's rich and celebrated history. The Museum offers guests an intimate look at the original costumes, props, sets, scripts and correspondence from countless Warner Bros. Studios films and television shows -- materials not before seen by the general public.

The Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour operates Monday through Saturday with tours departing regularly between 8:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. Extended hours are offered in the spring and summer. The price is $49 per person. For a more in-depth studio tour experience, Deluxe VIP Tours are offered daily at 10:20 a.m. For $250. Children under eight years of age are not permitted. Further information is available at www.wbtour.com.


Sources at TravMedia.com contributed to this article.


Editor's Note: Planning a visit to the land of entertainment? In the Los Angeles County sections of Taste California Travel's Resource Directory, you will find links to the websites of hundreds of options for Lodging and Dining in the area. In that directory is also a new section devoted to beer-centric establishments.

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