The Paramount Pictures Studio TourSep 19th, 2008 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
After our morning over at the WB, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I made our way to Hollywood for a tour of Paramount Pictures and I have to say we had even more fun there than we did at Warner Brothers! The Paramount tour is very similar to the WB tour, in that tour guides take around a very small group of people – our group had only eight in it – which allows for a very intimate and personalized experience.
Our tour was led by a FABULOUS guide named Ian and I HIGHLY recommend requesting him if you are interested in taking a Paramount tour. Ian was personality PLUS and the tour would not have been nearly as great without him.
Like at the WB, the Paramount tour also starts in the studio’s gift shop, where there is also a coffee shop. Alas, it’s not a Starbucks like over at the WB, instead Paramount has a Coffee Bean, which ranks a close second in my book. Ian started out the tour by giving us a brief history of Paramount Pictures and was pretty shocked to see that Mike and I actually knew more about Paramount, and film locations in general, than he did and he ended up giving me his tour guide badge to wear. LOL (Notice how you can see the Hollywood Sign in the above photo? It’s a testament to Paramount being one of the last few remaining movie studios actually located IN Hollywood. SO COOL!)
After Ian told us that while seeing a celeb on the tour is possible it is not necessarily likely, who should walk by but Molly Shannon, on her way to her trailer during a break from filming Kath and Kim. Molly was SUPER pretty in person, but unfortunately we did not get a pic of her face.
Literally not ten seconds after seeing Molly Shannon, who should walk by but Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh! (You can see Donald in the picture above, wearing a black suit and walking next to a man. He is on the right hand side. Jill is the woman in grey next to the limo.) From that point on we literally saw one star after another!!!!!!!!!! Ian said in his entire history at Paramount he had never led a tour where so many celebs were spotted! I like to think I brought our group a little stalking luck.
After Jill, who should walk by but John Michael Higgins, who is currently starring on Kath and Kim. John is probably best known, though, for his hilarious spontaneous dinner choir performance in The Break-Up. If you never saw the movie, you can watch the dinner scene below:
And that’s Gary on the kick drum . . . And Gary on the kick drum . . .” LOL! John was nice enough to take a pic with Mike and the two of them even broke out into a random performance of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – it was GREAT!
After snapping some pics with John, Ian led us over to a golf cart and drove us by both Molly AND Selma Blair’s trailers. Selma’s door was open and she actually leaned out and said hi and waved to us. I was shocked at how beautiful Selma was. From what I saw in my very brief view of her, she was striking. Much prettier in person than on screen. We didn’t get a pic, though.
After seeing Selma, we were taken over to “Lucy Park”, a small park built by Lucille Ball for her children back when that part of the studio was owned by Desilu Productions. Apparently it was built as an exact replica of the backyard in Lucy’s Beverly Hills home and she built it so that she could take media photographs with her children and pretend she was at home when she was actually at work. According to our tour guide, Miss Ball was something of a workaholic. To the side of Lucy Park is a New York apartment style facade that was apparently modeled after Lucy’s East Coast home, built for the very same purpose as the park. LOL
Lucy Park has an even better claim to fame, though – it is the location of the tree under which Greg Brady smoked his first cigarette on The Brady Bunch!
Behind Lucy Park is the location of the building that served as the high school on the television series Happy Days.
Next up we headed over to Paramount’s New York Street, which I found out can actually be rented for private parties! How fun would that be????? I was ESPECIALLY excited to see New York Street because of a challenge I received a few months ago. Jenna challenged me to find a city street used repeatedly on the television series Charmed. I was pretty sure that a street on the Paramount lot was used for the television series, but I couldn’t be positive. When we got to New York Street, though, I was able to verify with absolute certainty that it was the street used in Charmed, as you can see in the above screen captures. YAY!
Going to New York Street was VERY cool because we were allowed to walk around and explore the entire area, including the facade pictured above which is currently being used in Dirty Sexy Money as an art gallery and was also used in Spiderman 3 as a cafe.
Next we were taken to the “Financial District” section of the New York back lot. The above building was used as the “Life Extension” company headquarters from the Tom Cruise movie Vanilla Sky. You will notice that in real life the building is only three stories high, but in the movie it appeared to be a skyscraper. The extra floors were added in post production using CG technology.
After seeing the New York back lot, we happened to run into another bunch of celebs!! First, a golf cart came by with an actress (whose name I can’t for the life of me remember) riding in the front, and James Cromwell and Alfie Woodard in the back. And if that wasn’t enough, right after they drove by, Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris walked by! I am telling you, we were on fire!!!
After seeing that group of stars, Ian took us over to the high school set of Everybody Hates Chris, where we were given a tour of everything from the hallways and classrooms to the principal’s office.
One of our last stops was the building used as the high school on The Brady Bunch. SO COOL! I absolutely LOVED that show growing up, so I was in heaven stalking this spot.
The final stop on our Paramount tour was the famous wooden bench from the movie Forrest Gump, which was transported to Paramount after filming was completed.
I cannot tell you what an amazing experience Mike and I had on the Paramount Tour. I truly cannot recommend stalking it enough! If you are going to do a studio tour, this is the one I recommend. I can’t say enough good things about our afternoon there.
Another BIG THANK YOU to Mike for taking all of the above photos! I think I need to get me a camera like Mike’s – his takes much better pictures than mine! But mine is pink and I doubt his camera comes in pastel colors, so I guess I have to make some concessions.
Until next time, Happy Stalking! : )
Stalk It:Paramount Studios is located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Tickets will cost you $35 per person and advance reservations are required. DO NOT BE LATE! Mike and I got held up on our way to Paramount, and our reservations were almost given away! You can find out more about the studio tour here.