I couldn’t go to Los Angeles without seeing where the magic is made. Walking around the sound stages, prop shop, and sets of Warner Brothers Studio, I felt as if I was walking on hallowed ground.
Who doesn’t love the movies? Seeing the costume Wonder Woman wore, the car Batman drove, the broomstick Harry Potter rode — and best of all the sound stage where Casablanca and Now, Voyager (my all time favorite movies) were made was to see the stuff of dreams.
Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart were here. Bette Davis and Frank Sinatra. Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco — the stage is now the home of The Big Bang Theory.
The Warner Brothers Studio tour begins with a movie. A little intro to everything you’ll see during your Hollywood visit.
Then hop aboard a tram and get a closer look at the movies in the making. My tour was on a Saturday and there wasn’t much going on—although I was excited to see preparations underway for a reality show that would film after we were long gone.
No movie stars or TV stars—though I did see Ellen Degeneres’ parking space. No special effects—unless you count the green screen behind Harry Potter’s broom or the funny little table that made the Hobbits look smaller than the humans.
It didn’t matter, really. There was a museum full of costumes and props for movies made here, including Wonder Woman, the Harry Potter series and Batman. There were city streets and the jungle where Jurassic Park was shot. Exhibits about screenwriting, costume design, set construction, casting. My husband and I got to sit on the couch in Central Perk. We were “Friends” for a split second! We saw Oscars and Golden Globes and Emmys.
My favorite stop was the prop shop. A gigantic antique shop filled with just about all the
stuff a movie maker would need to decorate his set, it had the Resolution Desk used in “The West Wing,” and the chandeliers used in Casablanca.
And when we went to the gift shop, we bought baseball caps. Mine says “writer.”
Even with a little glimpse of the secrets behind movie magic, I still believe. Movies are magic. And the magicians fill all the little offices and big sound stages to make the stories come to life.
Oh yes, I do believe.
Ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman
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