Paramount Studios Tour is an excellent way to get an intimate view of film-making history. Situated at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood and founded in 1912, Paramount is the oldest existing film studio and the last major film studio still based in Hollywood.
The two-hour Paramount Studios Tour is intimate thanks to the limit on group sizes.
A knowledgeable tour guide will drive you and 5 others around in a cart. This small scale affair means you get to ask questions and play trivia games with your host. The tour guide even asked us what we’re most interested in seeing so he could make it a priority.
Home of King Kong
You’ll get a double dose of film history on this tour. In the 1960’s Paramount purchased neighboring studio RKO which was the home of Citizen Kane, King Kong and later owned by Howard Hughes.
The RKO studio was later bought by Lucille Ball who used the lot to produce Star Trek. That’s right, Lucille Ball produced Star Trek! The sci-fi franchise has had a home at Paramount ever since.
What’s on the Paramount Studios Tour?
Driving around in the cart you’ll see many celebrity trailers and it’s likely you’ll see at least one TV or movie star walking around. You’ll probably just get a polite nod although the tour guide told us when Cheers was being filmed that Ted Danson and Woody Harrison would hijack tours.
The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder” ~ Alfred Hitchcock
Depending on filming schedules you’ll also get to visit an indoor set (recently filmed at Paramount was Glee and Community) and walk through the backlot which includes “New York Street” a series of fake streets designed to look like parts of New York and used in countless movies and TV shows.
Although pictures inside the studio are not allowed as they want to protect copyright, the tour finishes up at the original and iconic studio gates where everyone gets a photo opportunity. You also get to sit on the famous bus stop bench from Forrest Gump which is now placed a short distance from the gate.
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The tour staff were extraordinarily professional and very accommodating. For instance, I didn’t realize that you need to reserve a ticket, so when I arrived the security, co-ordinators and tour guide all tried to make sure they could accommodate me.
While Universal Studio’s tour is a thrill ride, it is definitely more a ride than a tour. At Paramount you get a more personal experience that makes you feel like a VIP.
Paramount is the oldest existing movie studio and is currently owned by Viacom. It’s consistently ranked as one of the top-grossing film studios in the world. Some of its most successful films include Titanic, Forrest Gump, Beverly Hills Cop, War of the Worlds, and Ghost.
Tickets cost $45 per person and can be reserved by calling (323) 956 1777.
All in all, the Paramount Studio Tour is a great experience for someone wanting to get a real, up-close and personal view of a working film studio.
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