Five movie studios you can visit
With all the glitz of the 91st Academy Awards hitting Hollywood this coming Monday (25 February 19), the eyes of the world will be turned to LA once more. The Oscars’ red carpet is one of the most prolific celebrity moments of the year but unless you’re one of the film world’s elite, or a movie star’s latest squeeze, the red carpet is off-limits.
However, if you’d really relish the chance to get behind the scenes many film studios, in LA and beyond, offer tours that allow you to see where the pre-Oscars magic happens. Movie fans can step inside real sets, take a closer look at the famous props used in blockbusters and watch films being made right in front of their eyes.
To help you find the places that delve deeper into movie-making, the Citybond Team has compiled a list of some of the best movie studio tours from around the globe.
Sony Pictures Studio Tour, LA, USA
It’s hard to beat Tinseltown when it comes to movie studios, and Sony Pictures is one of Hollywood’s most iconic offerings. Travel back in time on this two-hour tour as you visit the soundstage of one of the most iconic films ever made, The Wizard of Oz, as well as those once home to Men in Black and Spider-Man. Game show fans will be in heaven here too, as you swing by the sets of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. This tour might inspire you to slip on your glittery red heels, but after seeing how the Hollywood elite live and work, you certainly won’t be saying ‘there’s no place like home’.
Film City, Mumbai, India
We shouldn’t forget the world’s other movie mecca: Bollywood. If you like your movies with a side of dancing, hair flips and longing looks then Mumbai’s Film City Tour is the one for you. Unlike many of their LA counterparts, you’re taken to live film sets where you can see your favourite Bollywood stars creating movie magic in real time. On this two-hour tour, you’re also transported to a number of Film City’s most recognisable locations, including its helipad, lake, church, court and temple, as well as Khandala Bridge. Your guide will share various juicy Bollywood secrets too – so you’ll get the real inside scoop.
Weta, Wellington, New Zealand
Any ‘Ringers’ in the house? If you’re familiar with the term, then you’ll probably have a long-harboured dream to visit New Zealand to see the dramatic landscape where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Strengthen your LOTR game with the Weta Studio Tour. Weta created the costumes and props used in the franchise and offer a vast array of tours where you can get up close to some of the most fearsome weapons and outfits you’ve ever seen on screen. If Lord of the Rings isn’t really your thing, Weta also created props for Thunderbirds Are Go and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Warner Bros, Leavesden, England
When it comes to Harry Potter the UK is the place to be, and at the Warner Bros Studio Tour just outside of London you’ll be so immersed in the wizarding world you’ll forget you spent your 11th birthday in tears because your Hogwarts letter didn’t arrive. Just us? Regardless, this studio tour offers us muggles a heady glimpse into many magical things. Pretend you’re being sorted into a house while exploring the Great Hall, or pick up your books and wand at Diagon Alley ready for your next year at Hogwarts. There’s plenty of authentic props and costumes to look through too: from Dumbledore’s Memory Cabinet to the Weasley twins’ Puking Pastilles Dispenser that hung proudly above their joke shop.
Paramount Pictures, LA, USA
We can’t sign off without returning to the bright lights of Hollywood for our final recommendation. Paramount is a true titan of the movie-making business - not to mention Hollywood’s first major studio. During this tour you’ll get an inside look at where some of the world’s most universally-known films were created, including Titanic, Forrest Gump, and Transformers. On the classic two-hour Paramount Studio Tour you’ll see the massive reconstruction of a New York street complete with ten backdrops, as well as the Bronson gate, and Prop Warehouse. If you’re a true film buff, opt for the VIP Tour, which gives you access to Special Effects, the Sign Shop and Prop Warehouse, the Sound Stages and the legendary archive facilities too.
Wherever you plan on heading to this year it’s good to know that Citybond Suretravel is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.
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