Movie Studios Tour, Los Angeles

Movie Studios Tour (Self Guided), Los Angeles

The film studios of Los Angeles, collectively known as the “dream factory”, are indeed factories. Here, countless iconic films and television shows have been produced over the years, creating stars and attracting great movie-makers from around the globe. Let's take a brief look at some of these vital hubs in the entertainment industry.

Raleigh Studios is one of the oldest continuously operating studios in Hollywood. It has been home to numerous classic films and television series, offering state-of-the-art facilities for production and post-production needs.

Practically next door to it, Paramount Pictures is one of the major film studios in the world. With a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, it has contributed immensely to the cinematic landscape with legendary films.

Red Studios is renowned for its cutting-edge technology and creative spaces. This studio has played a crucial role in the digital revolution of filmmaking, offering innovative solutions for modern content creation.

Sunset Las Palmas Studios: Located on the famous Santa Monica Boulevard, it has been a popular choice for filmmakers for decades. The studio provides a versatile backdrop for various productions, from blockbusters to indie films.

The Jim Henson Company Lot, formerly known as Charlie Chaplin Historic Studios, is a historic gem. It pays homage to the legendary actor and filmmaker, Charlie Chaplin, and has been a setting for many timeless classics.

As a film enthusiast or someone interested in the entertainment world, you may wish to visit these iconic studios when you are in Los Angeles. Exploring such landmarks of cinematic history and witnessing the magic of filmmaking up close can be an unforgettable experience. You may even get a glimpse of your favorite stars or the making of the next big blockbuster.
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Movie Studios Tour Map

Guide Name: Movie Studios Tour
Guide Location: USA » Los Angeles (See other walking tours in Los Angeles)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: ashley
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Raleigh Studios
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Red Studios Hollywood
  • Sunset Las Palmas Studios
  • Charlie Chaplin Historic Studios
Raleigh Studios

1) Raleigh Studios

Raleigh Studios is a film production facility situated in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and it has been owned by Raleigh Enterprises since 1979. Its origins can be traced back to 1915, a time when much of Los Angeles was still farmland and the film industry was just beginning to take shape. Despite its modest beginnings, Raleigh Studios holds the distinction of being one of the world's oldest continuously operating film studios. Over the years, it has operated under various names, including Famous Players Film Corp., Clune Studios, and California Studios, among others. This historic 10-acre site has played host to some of Hollywood's most iconic stars since the Golden Age of cinema, including Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford. Notably, two Academy Award-winning films, "The Best Years of Our Lives" in 1946 and "In The Heat of the Night" in 1967, were filmed on this very lot.

Today, Raleigh Studios stands as one of the most technologically advanced film studios in Hollywood. It boasts modern facilities, ample parking and access for heavy vehicles, high-speed internet and telecommunications capabilities, and top-notch amenities to cater to the fast-paced needs of contemporary film productions. Regardless of what the future holds for the entertainment industry in Hollywood, Raleigh Studios remains committed to supporting the art and business of filmmaking.
Paramount Pictures

2) Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures Corporation stands as a prominent American company in the realm of film and television production and distribution. It serves as the flagship division of Paramount Global. Remarkably, it ranks as the sixth-oldest film studio worldwide, the second-oldest within the United States, and holds the unique distinction of being the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios situated within the city limits of Los Angeles.

In 1916, the notable film producer Adolph Zukor entered into contracts with 24 actors and actresses, bestowing each with the honor of having their names grace the studio's logo alongside a star. However, in 1967, the number of stars on the logo was trimmed down to 22, and their underlying symbolism was abandoned. A significant milestone occurred in 2014 when Paramount Pictures became the initial major Hollywood studio to exclusively distribute its films in digital format.

Paramount Pictures enjoys the distinction of being one of the largest and most prosperous studios globally. The studio boasts a roster of illustrious stars, including luminaries such as Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, and a multitude of other renowned figures. Paramount has been responsible for the creation of numerous top-grossing films throughout history, including blockbuster hits like Titanic, Forrest Gump, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Iron Man, Star Trek, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and many others.

For those interested in gaining insights into the inner workings of the film industry, Paramount Pictures offers guided tours. These tours provide visitors with the opportunity to observe the behind-the-scenes processes of movie production. Paramount studio tours are both educational and entertaining, making them a standout attraction for visitors and often a highlight of trips to Los Angeles.

Why You Should Visit:
To see behind the scenes of how film and TV shows are made. Tours are conducted in small groups of about 20-25 people. You go through the back lot and some of the sound stages. Good explanation by knowledgeable tour guides. Interesting interactive museum to end the tour.
Red Studios Hollywood

3) Red Studios Hollywood

Red Studios Hollywood, previously known as Desilu Cahuenga Studio and Ren-Mar Studios, is a studio available for rent in Hollywood. Its origins date back to 1915 when it was initially constructed as Back Lot #3 for Metro Pictures.

In 1953, following the production of the initial two seasons of the I Love Lucy television series at General Service Studios, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz sought a more spacious studio facility. They scouted a property, originally referred to as the Motion Picture Center, and entered into a ten-year lease agreement for it. Over the years, the studio underwent various name and ownership changes, eventually evolving into what is now known as "Red Studios Hollywood."

I Love Lucy (seasons 3–6, 1953–1957), The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957–1960), The Lucy Show (1962-1968), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), My World and Welcome to It, Make Room for Daddy, Hogan's Heroes, The Andy Griffith Show, The Jack Benny Program, That Girl, Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, NewsRadio, Ally McBeal, and Lizzie McGuire are among the television series that have been filmed entirely or partially at Red Studios Hollywood. Furthermore, the studio frequently serves as a location for shooting music videos, featuring artists such as Madonna, INXS, Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, Hilary Duff, and Britney Spears. Notably, in 1991, the exercise video "Sweatin' to the Oldies 3" by Richard Simmons was also recorded at this studio.
Sunset Las Palmas Studios

4) Sunset Las Palmas Studios

Sunset Las Palmas Studios, previously known as Hollywood Center Studios, is an established production facility that offers sound stages and associated services to various entertainment production companies, encompassing television, film, and commercial productions. It was established in 1919 by John Jasper, who had previously worked alongside Charlie Chaplin. This studio ranks among the oldest production facilities in Hollywood and has been a notable location for numerous well-known productions. These include iconic television series such as The Burns and Allen Show, I Love Lucy, The Addams Family, seasons 2-10 of Jeopardy! (1985-1994), The Rockford Files, The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show, MADtv, The Suite Life on Deck, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Raven's Home. It has also hosted notable movie productions like When Harry Met Sally... and The Player.

Sunset Las Palmas Studios remains a vital resource for television productions, catering to shows produced by major networks such as Disney, NBC, Comedy Central, and MTV. The studio boasts 12 sound stages, with sizes ranging from 4,400 square feet to 19,000 square feet. Several of these stages are equipped to accommodate live audiences, and there is also a virtual set stage designed for webcasts.
Charlie Chaplin Historic Studios

5) Charlie Chaplin Historic Studios

When you pass the Jim Henson Studios (former Charlie Chaplin Studios) on La Brea Avenue, you would be excused if you thought that you were on the film-set of an English village.

Charlie Chaplin bought the vast tract of land that had once been an orange grove, in 1917, and built there his studios. The screening rooms, offices and film laboratory were housed in charming English-style cottages. The studios themselves included the back lot with its outdoor sets, twin open-air stages, carpenter’s shed, garages, film vault and dressing rooms.

On the north end of the land Charlie Chaplin built a lovely house which he intended for his own use, although he never lived there in the end and rented it out to various friends. The house had adjoining stables, a swimming pool and tennis courts. He eventually sold the house and surrounding land, and the buildings were demolished in 1942 to give way to a new shopping centre.

Before selling the studios in 1953, Charlie Chaplin turned some of his best films here, including “The Kid”, “The Gold Rush”, “The Great Dictator” and “Modern Times”. Sadly, America was soon to be deprived of its beloved “little Tramp with a Heart of Gold”: during the dark years of the McCarthy Era many Hollywood stars suffered greatly for their mild communist leanings. Charlie Chaplin was considered to be a “Pinko” for his left wing views and when he went to England in 1952 for a short holiday, Hoover, the director of the FBI, had his right to re-enter the United States revoked, and Chaplin settled in Switzerland.

He sold the studios in 1953 to a television company. In 1959, Red Skelton bought the studios and sold them to CBS in 1962. Since 2000 the studios have been the home of the Jim Henson Company and his delightful Muppets.

Charlie Chaplin returned once to the United States. In 1972, he came back with his wife to receive an Honorary Oscar, but he refused to visit his old studios, saying the memory was “too painful”.

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