Posts Tagged ‘studios’

Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 8 December 2016

Don’t Overlook the Overlooks

Visiting the Universal City overlook

Our Private Tour Takes Us Up into the Mountains

Mulholland Drive is the great skyline drive in the Santa Monica Mountains running from Hollywood to the ocean.  While the entire drive is full of jawdropping landscapes between views of the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles basin there are also exquisite looks at the ocean and various canyons, hillside mansions and fabulous driveways.  The twists and turns over most of the road keep us going slow and allows your guide to tell lots of tales and provide lots of facts.  Along the way there are “overlooks” where we can easily pull over and step out of the SUV to take pictures and admire the view.  This particular view gives our Los Angeles private tour guests a look deep into the valley and three major film studios: Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney.  We counsel our guests to look for the water towers to spot the studios.  We can drive down into the San Fernando Valley at some point if are guests are interested and take a look at the studios from their entrances and point out the water towers.  The vista points are spectacular and in many ways as wonderful as the aerial perspective our guests enjoy when aboard one of our helicopters and flying over and around the city.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 20 July 2016

Water Tower at Warner Bros.

The water tower on the Warner Bros. Studios lot

Our Private Tour Sees Studio Water Tower

Our Los Angeles private tour guests often want to talk about water.  While water is a major subject of discussion in California all through the year (and this decade in particular) we are pleased that our issues with water are widely known.  On our tours we talk about the history of Los Angeles in terms of water and how a major metropolis was constructed in what is essentially a desert.  The history of water in Los Angeles is long and colorful and not too far removed from the story in Roman Polanski’s CHINATOWN.  Water discussions also arise when we point out the water towers on the film studio lots like Warner Bros. (above).  In this case we describe the studios in earlier days when these “cities” of filmmaking were somewhat isolated from the growing burg of Los Angeles and had their own fire departments.  Water towers supplied water for the facility as well as for emergencies (fires were not uncommon – wood sets and hot tools, you know).  Explosions and fires created for film were risks.  Just think about the burning of Atlanta for GONE WITH THE WIND filmed in Culver City.  Another use for a lot of water was creating a flood (the Universal Studios tour might demonstrate that) or just a large pool of water for scenes filmed “at sea” (visit The Tank on the Paramount Studios lot).

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 20 April 2016

What’s Up Down in the Valley

Up on Mulholland Drive a view with our private Los Angeles tour family and the valley below.

Who Loves Harry Potter? Our Private Tour Family Sure Does

They were here for the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.  The day before their visit to the movie-based theme park they joined us for a wonderful private tour of Los Angeles.  They saw a number of famous movie studios that do not have rides but do have a lot of history and are exciting to see and talk about.  We explored throughout Hollywood and then ventured with the family into the hills of Beverly Hills and Bel Air and pointed out the homes of the celebrities they knew.  The family learned much about the history of Hollywood and the movies as well as saw how contemporary stars landscape their mansions.  The high point of their sightseeing adventure was driving high up along Mulholland Drive.  From various scenic vista points we looked over Hollywood all the way to the ocean.  From other stops we could enjoy the panorama of the San Fernando Valley.  In this photograph for the family’s tour album you can see the Disney and Warner Bros. studios.  Most important is seeing Universal Pictures and the Hogwarts Castle rising up in the background.  We are certain the family loved the rides, the shops and the other Harry Potter inspired activities.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 16 July 2015

The San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles

Looking north over Forest Lawn to Disney Studios and the San Fernando Valley

Our Private Tour Guests Learn How Big

Los Angeles Really Is

When we hike up to the top of Mt. Lee our guests are often surprised that there is so much more to see than the Hollywood Sign and the views south over the Los Angeles basin from downtown to the sea.  On clear days Santa Catalina Island is gloriously visible as is the promontory peninsula of Palos Verdes.  Then we meander over to the north side of the mountain and stretched out before us is the San Fernando Valley, all 260 square miles.  Almost two million residents.  Home to four major studios: NBC, CBS, Disney and Warner Bros.  The orange building above, just beyond the green expanse of Forest Lawn cemetery, is the heart of Disney Studios.  This valley was once a great manufacturing center for Los Angeles (automobiles, aircraft) but today the San Fernando Valley makes its money with content production and entertainment.  Most of the valley is a part of Los Angeles with several incorporated cities like Burbank.  Besides this hike up to the top of Mt. Lee we know a number of other overlooks from locations on Mulholland Drive where we can stop on our private Los Angeles tour if our guests are not interested in hiking.  Different places with different views of the valley but all leaving a distinct impression on our guests of the size and scope of Los Angeles.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 26 June 2015

Charlie Chaplin and Henson Studios

Charlie Chaplin seen on a door at the Henson Studios in Hollywood

Our Private Tour Smiles at Chaplin Memories

Even if it were not decorated to impart memories of Charlie Chaplin, the Henson Studios in Hollywood catches the eyes of our private Los Angeles tour groups as we drive along La Brea.  The brick entrance gate and shingled roof occupying the corner of the block suggest that something important is happening on the other side of the walls.  It is a movie studio…a historic studio at that.  Charlie Chaplin’s studio.  Later owners included Red Skelton, CBS (Perry Mason was filmed here; Raymond Burr lived on the lot), and Herb Alpert (home to A&M records and We Are The World).  Now the Muppets call the old studio home as Kermit the Frog, atop the wrought iron gate, assumes the iconic character of Chaplin’s Little Tramp and Charlie himself is painted on the door leading into the studio.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 24 March 2015

Flying Over CityWalk

Our helicopter tour of Los Angeles flies over the Hard Rock Café

Hard Rock Café Seen below Our

Los Angeles Tour Flight

Unlike taking off in a airliner from LAX at hundreds of miles per hour on a steep climb out of the city or even on a flight path into the airport at a more reasonable speed, when we are flying above the city in a luxury helicopter talking directly to the pilot we can request a closer look (within FAA limits) at places on the ground that capture our interest.  For instance, flying over Universal CityWalk and the studios, which from above look like a very fun toybox, we can get some extraordinary photographs of the very recognizable structures below us like the Hard Rock Café with its white dome and giant red Stratocaster guitar.  CityWalk features entertainment, dining and shopping facilities but all around it movies and televisions shows are being produced and planned.  It is an entertainment mecca within an entertainment mecca (Hollywood).  The VIP Tour of the studios is definitely a “must do” when in Los Angeles and remember to include time to amble long the CityWalk promenade.  Even better, remember to arrange for a private Los Angeles tour to put all of Hollywood and areas like Beverly Hills in proper perspective when you visit our wonderful city.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 11 February 2015

The San Fernando Valley Makes Films

Our private Los Angeles tour guest enjoys a view overlooking the San Fernando Valley

A Private Tour of Los Angeles Can Include

Our Neighbor Valley

“Would you like to see….?” is a question our tour guides utter regularly as they work with our private Los Angeles tour guests on each journey to determine the best routes and destinations to get them to all the sights they want to see.  Anyone living in Los Angeles knows how many fascinating and historic places there are and our guests soon get the idea.  Outside of the usual Hollywood and Beverly Hills locations we visit we might take our excited guests up along the ridges where they can enjoy views like this one.  The San Fernando Valley stretches out 180° between the Hollywood Hills and the taller San Gabriel Mountains to the northeast.  The giant valley contains some of the richest film production grounds in the world, maybe $23 billion worth of creative economic effort every year.  In the photograph are Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney studios, three of the Hollywood majors.  All around are smaller production companies busy throughout the year bringing us entertainment content in the way of television and movies distributed through all the media channels we know and those that will come to be.  Until you see it for yourself, preferably from a vantage point like this one, it is difficult to fathom how extensive this entertainment universe really is.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 16 January 2015

Where Paramounties Enter

Studio employee entrance for Paramount Pictures

Our Private Tour Visits Paramount Pictures

While we always make a point to feature a good look at the Melrose Gate entrance to Paramount Studios, the magnificent public entrance to the esteemed film and production facility in Hollywood, sometimes we take our guests around the corner to see where the ordinary working people who keep the studio humming enter on their way to work.  This is the Gower Gate.  Not much of a gate but as you can see it is on Gower Street.  An employee parking structure is right across the street.  The studio began as a joint operation with Adolph Zukor, Jesse Lasky, Samuel Goldwyn and Cecil B. DeMille behind the filmmaking.  History and business saw a number of developments as the studio prospered and suffered and prospered again.  At one time this entrance was part of Desilu (Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Star Trek).  The RKO globe remains on the corner of Gower and Melrose to remind entertainment historians of those early days of radio and television.  We will tell you the whole story on your private Los Angeles tour as we visit the major studios of Hollywood.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 7 July 2014

Bumblebee Protects Paramount

Bumbleebee, the Transformer, on guard at Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios Captures the Eyes of Our Private Tour

Bumblebee, the big yellow Transformer once again saving our planet right now in Transformers: Age of Extinction, is serving a stint as a security guard at Paramount Pictures stationed just inside the famed Bronson Gate.  To tall to pass through the archway the gentle being patrols the fountain and greets the guests.  The historic studio (once Famous Players Studio), the oldest still operating in Hollywood proper, is a wonderful destination for a tour-within-a-tour for our Hollywood history loving guests.  We can bring them during their private Los Angeles tour to the studio for a 2-hour trek through movie and television history in an working studio.  The might even hear the soundstage bells signaling filming is ongoing.

Posing with Bumblebee at Paramount Studios

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 24 April 2013

Three Major Studios of the Valley

Photograph of 3 Major Hollywood Studios

A Private Los Angeles Tour Vista Point Photo

So many nice days in southern California just demand that we cruise along Mulholland Drive atop Hollywood and Beverly Hills to take photographs for and of our private Los Angeles tour guests enjoying all the sightseeing offered by our grand city.  This particular photograph captures not only the San Fernando Valley but Universal, Warner Brothers and in the distance Disney Studios all in one image (look for the water towers).  Billions and billions of dollars in filmmaking revenue comes from this area alone.  For almost 100 years Hollywood studios have been a major industry in Los Angeles and continue to produce when nearby aircraft and automobile factories are now gone.  We expect the studios will continue to produce our filmed entertainment for centuries to come.

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