Touring the Warner Bros. Studio in Los Angeles, California


Molly Grossman ('25)

“The costumes of all the DC superheroes, including the names of the actors or actresses who wore them, are displayed on the walls,” Molly Grossman (’25).

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Los Angeles, California, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind our favorite movies and T.V. shows. When I visited LA over teacher’s convention weekend, I got to experience this attraction firsthand.
The journey started with a guided tram tour, exploring the secrets of movie-making magic. The first tram stop took me to the backlots, massive outdoor movie sets, where I walked the same streets, touched the same walls, and walked up the same steps where Hollywood movie stars had previously worked. The tour guide explained how a street named ‘Hennesy’ has been used in tons of movies and shows but redressed to look like totally different places across the world, both real and fictional. For example, Hennesy street was staged as the crime-ridden Gotham city in one of the “Batman” movies but was transformed to portray New York in the 1940s for the movie “Annie.” All of the houses in the fabricated town are custom-built facades to fit the director’s artistic vision. When a new movie or show is filmed, builders tear down the old structures and build a new town. No buildings are made of brick, and no trees have real leaves. The staircase leading to the door to Alison DiLaurentis’s house in “Pretty Little Liars” leads to nowhere!
Some examples of popular shows and movies filmed on the Warner Bros. backlots include “Batman and Robin,” “Jurassic Park,” “All American,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Pretty Little Liars.” If you’re a “Friends” fan, you will be able to get a great selfie at the fountain featured in the show’s intro scenes.
After the tram tour, there is a self-guided tour of the Warner Bros. sets. Here you begin at stage 48, exploring the real-life set of “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory.” You can also experience an interactive sound stage, and learn how filmmakers created the animated character, Dobby, from “Harry Potter.” This sound stage monitors movement, so a figure on the wall copies your maneuvers and gestures. Also, “All American” fans get the opportunity to see and read all of the stage directions and episode blueprints that came straight from the show’s producers. Stage 48 has a bunch of costumes set out that the actors wore in their movies such as “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Superman,” and “Father of the Bride.”
After walking around and taking in this exclusive experience, you can stop by the Central Perk Cafe. The Central Perk Cafe is the most famous location on the set of “Friends.” Although you do see and get to take a photo on the set of the Central Perk Cafe, the actual cafe that is serving coffee and snacks is just a replica!
When you’re done with the second part of the Warner Bros. Studio tour, you will be taken to the last section. In this section, you will experience an exclusive look into the DC and “Harry Potter” worlds. The DC superhero and supervillain section of this tour shows you the actual Batmobile from “Batman” and provides a photo opportunity with Wonder Woman’s whip. The costumes of all the DC superheroes, including the names of the actors or actresses who wore them, are displayed on the walls. Walking into the “Harry Potter” world, you can enjoy a lesson on mastering your wand skills, be part of an elusive camera trick, and even have your own Hogwarts house sorting ceremony.
Finally, to close out your Warner Bros. experience, you and anyone you are visiting with can hold an authentic Oscar for a great photo walking across a red carpet.