On Thursday I moved on to my next studio tour at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank. Burbank is to the east of North Hollywood. I took the Metro Bus Line 501 to Burbank California. This is a new bus service to link North Hollywood with Pasadena. I saw it heavily advertised. I got off at the bus stop on West Olive Avenue just pass North Hollywood Way. This was close the Warner Brothers Gate 4.
But I had arrived way too early so I had to wander around Burbank, mostly along West Riverside Drive. I saw the Novo Cafe, Don Cuco, Cafe Maggazino, and The Tangerine. I had a latte and a Citrus Crepe at Cafe Maggazino to kill some time but didn’t stay long. I overheard some film production employees talking about office security. I took photos of the Falcon Theatre before turning back and eventually found a bus stop bench where I pretended to be waiting for a bus.
I had to go through security for the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. There was an union protest going on and the tour guide said it was a voice actors picket line. I think the union was SAG-AFTRA. I’d seen a few people wearing SAG-AFTRA t-shirts around the studio entrances directing traffic.
I got on a golf cart to begin the tour. I think I sat with some Dutch tourists who thought it was cool to over-use the word “Bro”. I sat on the edge of the cart in order to be able to take lots of photos. But I made the mistake of getting my official guidebook right at the start of the tour and had to carry it around everywhere.
We saw the stage set for the television show “2 Broke Girls” and sat in the audience seats to watch a short video by the shows stars. They did a brief comedy routine which fell kind of flat since there was no laugh track. We saw the DC Comics exhibit with costumes and props from the movie “Suicide Squad”. I really liked the Enchantress character from that film because Cara Delevingne managed to appear both menacing and mesmerizing. But the film didn’t really explore the potential of a true enchantress character, a woman with the supernatural power to enchant men. The Enchantress never lived up to her name. I saw the Picture Car Vault – a garage with cars used in film and television, mostly from the Batman movies. And we walked through the Prop House, a four-floor warehouse of props and set dressings used by productions. This was just like a antique mall. The tour ended with Stage 48: Script to Screen and the obligatory exit through the gift shop. Of particular interest to me was the screenwriters exhibit which consisted of a mountain of film scripts, a story board covered in post-it notes, and a laptop. At least they didn’t use a typewriter. Most contemporary writers do their writing on a laptop, not a typewriter, yet graphic designers continue to use typewriters in every writing contest poster.
I took the Metro Bus Line 501 back to North Hollywood. It left me off at the bus bays to the east of the Red Line Metro station. After freshening up in my hotel room I went out again and took the Metro Red Line to the Hollywood / Vine Station. I walked down Vice Street to Sunset Boulevard and took photos of the Los Angeles Film School and the ArcLight Hollywood (Pacific Theatre’s Cinerama Dome). Then I made yet another trip to Amoeba Music and bought three CDs; EBM (Electronic Body Matrix), Till Lindemann’s Skills In Pills, and Die Antwoord’s Mount Ninja And Da Nice Time Kid. After I got back from my vacation I finally found the time to listen to the Skills In Pills album and discovered it was one of the most obscene albums I’ve ever heard. But I liked it! Also this album was in English. Till Lindemann usually sings in German.
After walking back to Hollywood Boulevard I decided to take better photos of the Egyptian Theatre and Pig N Whistle. Eventually I walked all the way back to the Hollywood and Highland Station and took the subway back to North Hollywood. Instead of going immediately to my hotel, I went to Laemmle’s NoHo 7 and bought a ticket to the 7:10 showing of Doctor Strange. Then I walked to the Philadelphia Sandwiches restaurant and ordered a cheese steak and a coke. There were two LAPD cops having their dinner in the back of the restaurant. The cheese steak was actually really good.
Later that evening I saw the mystical fantasy Doctor Strange which I’d seen advertised all week. I got a free medium bag of popcorn using a coupon I got in the L. A. Lit Crawl goody bag and a bottle of Starbucks Frappacino which they put in a paper cup because you can’t take a bottle into the theater.