Los Angeles is a big city with a bright future and an interesting past. The local economy is incredibly diversified. Industries of all kinds thrive in southern California, and Los Angeles is home to many famous brands. There’s one industry that stand above all others, however. For some people, Los Angeles is synonymous with Hollywood, and Hollywood means the movie and TV industry. Hollywood tours are some of the most popular reasons to visit Los Angeles. True to the city’s reputation, there are many to choose from. Value Rental Car welcomes many visitors from all over the world who want to rent a car, find a hotel, and then see where their favorite movies and shows are made. We’ve assembled a handy list of Hollywood tours to make it easier to find what you’re looking for:
Paramount Studios Tour
Paramount Studios are a great destination for tourists who want to visit a working movie studio. Technically, it’s the only remaining major movie studio still operating in Hollywood. Visitors to Paramount will enjoy a more old-school feel than some of the other studios. The studio is right next door to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and it can seem like the great names in Hollywood history never left.
The tour covers a lot of ground, so there’s a lot of walking and riding in golf carts to see the whole thing. One of the big highlights is passing through the iconic Bronson Gate, which is instantly recognizable from many movies and TV shows.
Make sure you stick around for the part of the tour that features Paramount’s back lot. There’s a maze of little street the studio uses to represent cities like New York, Chicago, and Saint Louis. There’s also a giant water tank used for water scenes like the parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments.
Universal Studio Hollywood Tours
If you’re more in the mood for a theme park experience than a history lesson, Universal Studio Hollywood Tours is for you. The studio tour is free with your admission to the Universal Theme Park. There’s a tram that takes you past familiar blocks of studio buildings from many different movies. Unlike other Hollywood tours, at Universal, the exhibits get up and perform. You won’t just see memorabilia from Jaws. The shark will jump right out of the water and give you a toothy smile as you pass by.
Sony Pictures Studio Tours
Sony Pictures tours are held at the old Metro Goldwyn Mayer lot in nearby Culver City. The tour is more compact than some of the others, so there’s more walking and less riding. MGM had a long and illustrious history before Sony Pictures added to it, so there’s a lot to see.
Sony is big in television, as well, and the tour visits the set of familiar shows like Jeopardy for a backstage look. The whole tour is interesting for the nuts and bolts look at making entertainment over the decades.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Warner Brothers Studio is located in “The Valley” in Burbank, California. The Warner’s tour has the best mix of movie-making history and real-time fun of any of the Hollywood tours. The tour begins on an open bus, and takes you past familiar streetscapes from countless movies and TV shows. The tour stops at a warehouse for props and costumes from such familiar hits as Harry Potter and Batman.
Further along the tour, you’ll see demonstrations of the process of CGI effects. There’s also an interactive exhibit of cinematic steps that show you how the studio takes an idea from script to screen.
The Warner Brothers tour lets visitors do more things than many other tours. It’s fun to sit on an original set from Friends, or even be filmed in front of a green screen and placed in a movie scene.
Photo of the Melrose Gate to Paramount Studio courtesy of the The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division