It's become an annual tradition to go on a tour of the Warner Bros. lot every time we go to the TCM Classic Film Festival. So far we’ve done three different tours. Our first was an official Warner Bros. VIP tour, our second was with Rob of Dear Old Hollywood (read about it here) and this year we took a wacky tour with my good friend Matt. Each tour was completely different from the others and we had a blast at each one.
The tour group included myself, my husband Carlos, Jill from The Black Maria, Jessica from Comet Over Hollywood and her parents, Laura from Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings and her husband Doug and KC of A Classic Movie Blog.
Matt entertained us with lots of fun facts about the lot and we walked around for a couple of hours. Did you know even the Warner Bros. office buildings are used for filming? Everything is made to look as generic as possible so locations can be dressed up or stripped down. Different areas on the lot are in the style of different geographical regions but can be repurposed to represent any city or suburb.
Note that tours, even wacky ones like this, have to be conducted by a Warner Bros. employee. Visitors need security clearance to get onto the lot. Don’t assume you can just wander on to the Warner Bros. lot and explore on your own.
Here are a few pictures from our wacky tour.
We thought the "Stop. Do Not Enter" sign was merely a suggestion. We were kicked out shortly after this photo was taken.
Your typical American suburb. These houses double as offices for Warner Bros. script writers.
This Warner Bros. building could easily stand in for Corporate America. There were several bus stops on the lot but according to Matt he's never seen a bus actually stop at any of them.
My favorite location on the Warner Bros. lot is the church used in Ocean's 11 (1960). I really wanted to see the interior so I asked Matt if we could sneak inside for a look.
Was this where they shot the funeral scene?
Where to next?
The most important building on the lot as far as classic film buffs are concerned. This is where they do all the restoration work on our beloved classics. Did you know Warner Bros. vault of originals and prints is not on the Burbank lot? The films are buried in salt caves in Kansas. This protects them from moisture and keeps them safe from possible accidents or theft.
A generic subway entrance. Where does this go to?
A gigantic Warner Bros. sign. You get dizzy just looking at it.
New York? Paris? Baltimore?
The oldest part of the lot. James Cagney roamed these fake streets.
A view from inside one of the buildings. Exploring interiors was a lot of fun. Everything gets stripped from production to production from the light fixtures to the furniture to the signs out front.
And here is the happy bunch after that awesome and wacky tour. Thanks Matt for showing us around!