A trip to Los Angeles cannot be said to be complete if you don't visit at least one of yours film studios. Over the years, Universal, Warner Bros., Sony and Paramount have produced films and TV series that have made us grow, have changed us, have thrilled us ... seeing live the places in Los Angeles where they were produced and shot can only be one of the strengths of your California vacation if you are passionate about cinema.
So let's briefly illustrate the characteristics of the 4 Hollywood studios, highlighting the main differences and strengths.
- Universal Studios
- Warner Bros. Studios
- Paramount studios
- Sony Pictures Studios
- Which one to choose from Hollywood Studios?
- Studios map
Let's start with the most famous and popular California studios: the Universal Studios. If what you are looking for is pure fun and adrenaline, this is the place for you. At Universal Studios you will have unique thrilling experiences as it is a real theme park where, through shows at specific times (the most famous WaterWorld, Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda) e Rides (The Simpsons, Walking Dead, The Mummy, ...) you will become the protagonist, between special effects that will leave you speechless and inevitably nostalgic moments. Among the newly built attractions is the famous The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Hollywood), a thematic area that will certainly thrill fans of the Rowling wizard saga.
But Universal Studios isn't just an amusement park for young and old - there's also the option to do one guided tour of the movie sets (the Psycho motel, the Desperate Housewives neighborhood, the clock tower of Back to the Future ...), an exciting tour that makes the Universal experience really complete.
The entrance ticket is not cheap but, as I will say later, it is certainly worth it. Remember that you will have to consider spending the whole day at Universal Studios as there are so many things to see and do. Also, especially in high season, this is one of the most visited attractions in Los Angeles so if you don't plan to buy skip-the-line tickets, be prepared to queue at the entrance and at the individual attractions inside the park.The studios are located at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City, approximately 10 minutes north of Hollywood.
- To find out more, read our article dedicated to Universal Studios.
Warner Bros. Studios
Da Casablanca a Batman, da Friends a Big Bang Theory: la mitica Warner Bros. has produced not only some of the masterpieces of American cinema, but also some of the most loved series in the world. To discover the behind the scenes of the most famous films, cartoons and TV series produced from 1923 to today by Warner Bros., you can choose between three different tours: Studio Tour, Classics Tour e Deluxe Tour.
Popular attractions include the Batmobile exhibit and the DC Universe, an interactive Warner Bros. superhero exhibit. You'll also get to see original Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts clothing and props and where to find them. Not only that, thanks to At Stage 48: Script to Screen you will have the opportunity to see with your own eyes how a film is created, from the script to the airing. And why not enjoy a nice coffee at Central Perk Café? It's a reconstruction of the Friends bar: the coffee will definitely not be as good as the Spanish one, but do you want to put the thrill of sitting on the armchairs and sofas where Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, Monica and Ross sat? Unlike Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Studios are operational and you could meet famous actors paused between the recording of one scene and another: on the official website you can find the TV series produced at the moment.
The studios are located at 3400 Warner Boulevard in Burbank, a 20-minute drive north of Downtown Los Angeles.
- To find out more, read our article dedicated to Warner Bros. Studios
You may not have known that, but they are the Longest-running film studios in the United States: Paramount, in fact, was founded in 1912 while i Paramount Studios di Hollywood real were built starting from 1926. The emotion is already great before passing the entrance gate if you think that the Ten Commandments, Roman Holiday, The Godfather, Grease, Forrest Gump and the immortal film of the Titanic. Not only that: science fiction lovers will be pleased to know that Star Trek was produced by Paramount as well as another hugely successful series, Happy Days. How can we forget the Fonzie leather jacket?
The visit to the studios is allowed through guided tours and it is possible to choose between Studio Tour and Vip Tour. One of the positives is the limited number to 7-8 people per tour, so you can visit the proposed movie sets, the prop warehouse and other highlights of Paramount Studios without too much fuss. Being studies still active, tours change based on registration needs so if on the one hand you may meet famous actors, on the other you may not be able to see the set you wanted.Paramount Studios are located at 5515 Melrose Avenue, a 10-minute drive north of Downtown Los Angeles.
- To find out more, read our article dedicated to Paramount Studios
Sony Pictures Studios
A rainbow 27 meters high and 57 meters long bursts into view as you approach the Sony Pictures Studios. It's Dorothy's rainbow, the undisputed star of the Oscar-winning song for Best Original Song, Over the Rainbow. The Wizard of Oz is just one of the many masterpieces produced in the studios located in Culver City: today the studios host the sony pictures, who bought them in 1990, after a period of decay and neglect. It was the Triangle Film Corporation and especially MGM that made these film studios famous, with productions such as Singin 'in the Rain, Ben-Hur, Gigi and of course The Wizard of Oz. In 1969, however, MGM Studios had to close due to financial problems and began an era of dismantling of sets, auction sales and decline. With the great work done by Sony Pictures since the XNUMXs, today the studios are again among the most popular and operating in California.
You can choose between the Daily Tour and Vip Lunch Tour to visit Sony Pictures Studios. Also in this case, as for Warner Bros. Studios and Paramount Studios, the film studios are in operation so some sets may be closed and the tours may be subject to changes in the program. On the other hand, you might meet some famous actor reviewing their lines ... you never know!Sony Pictures Studios are located at 10202 West Washington Boulevard in Culver City, west of Downtown Los Angeles.
- To find out more, read our article dedicated to Sony Studios
Which one to choose from Hollywood Studios?
If you are a movie lover at this point you will literally find yourself in front of the tremendous spoiled for choice. The question arises: which of the 4 studios is worth visiting while in Los Angeles? Unless you are a real fan of a specific production company and therefore absolutely want to see the headquarters where your favorite films were shot, I recommend that you choose the Universal Studios.
In my opinion, this is the choice that pleases everyone, both enthusiasts and the curious: as anticipated, it is a 'total experience! You not only have the opportunity to see the film studios, the scenarios and behind the scenes of some immortal films, but also to spend a whole day in a real cinematic theme park, joining the visit of historical-cultural character also a nice dose of divertissement.
Universal Studios info, tickets and advice
If, on the other hand, you are not at all interested in the theme park, then you could opt for the Warner Bros. Studios, which for many have a good value for money… even if in this case the evaluation is really subjective.