Sony Pictures Studio Tour

I spent my final day in Los Angeles doing the Sony Pictures Studio Tour. Sony Studios is in Culver City, another city incorporated into Los Angeles. I left my hotel earlier than usual, around 7:30 a.m.,  and took the Metro Red Line to the 7th Street Metro Center. Then I went to the upper platform to take the Expo Line. I took the Expo Line to the Culver City Station which placed me close to where I needed to be. I walked down Washington Boulevard and found The Actors’ Gang theater which was founded by Tim Robbins, no relation to me. Then I quickly located the Museum of Jurassic Technology on Venice Boulevard. Next I walked pass the Kirk Douglas Theatre and took some photos of that. Finally I came to the Sony Pictures Plaza and walked far down Washington Boulevard up to Motor Avenue before heading back up Venice Boulevard to kill some time. Eventually I tried to get a cup of coffee at the Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa but they were taking too long to serve their customers so I walked out.

The Actors' Gang Theater

The Actors’ Gang Theater

I really wasn’t clear on where you go to show up for the tour. But you actually have to go into the Sony Pictures Plaza and then all the way to the back of the vast lobby. I was able to use their restroom before the tour started. I managed to hang back and avoid getting my picture taken in front of a green screen.

Sony Pictures Plaza

Sony Pictures Plaza

This was a walking tour so first the whole group was lead across the street and to the left of the Sony Pictures gate. First we saw the Irving Thalberg Building. Then we got a photo opportunity with Ghostbuster cars and the camper van from Breaking Bad. Then we went into ADR 1 (automated dialogue replacement) a sound studio where we were not allowed to take photos. We also went onto the sound stage for the show The Goldbergs which was set up as a high school gym. I could tell the show was situated somewhere in Pennsylvania by the use of the words “William Penn” and “Quakers”. The Goldbergs is set in the 1980s in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. The show is loosely based on the showrunner’s own childhood, during which he videotaped events, many of which are re-enacted throughout the program.

Sony Pictures Studio Tour

Sony Pictures Studio Tour

We also sat in the audience seating for the Wheel of Fortune show which had a small museum at the entrance. The tour ended at the Studio Store which was the only studio gift shop I saw which actually sold DVDs of their movies and television shows. I bought the Blu-Ray edition of Ghostbusters: Answer The Call for $28.47. I did not get a bag so I had to shove it into my shoulder bag. According to the sales receipt, I made that purchase at 12:02 p.m.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

Next I went to The Museum of Jurassic Technology at 12:35 p.m. This museum was kept very dark and I couldn’t see very well after coming out of the bright sunshine. The museum was a fascinating fun house of archaic technology with 3D animation superimposed over antiques. I saw lots of weird and quirky exhibits. It was like a vast cabinet of wonders. It took a lot longer to go through the museum than I expected because it was laid out like a rat’s maze.

I had a cheeseburger and a shake at a nearby In-N-Out because I was starving and beginning to feel a little sick from hunger. I then returned to the Culver City Station and took the Expo Line back to the 7th Street Metro Center where I transferred to the Red Line. I got off at the Hollywood and Highland Station. I saw three television news vans parked in front of the Hollywood and Highland Center. I went into the Hollywood and Highland Center to take more photos of the Hollywood Sign. I then walked west on Hollywood Boulevard to La Brea Avenue and then south to Sunset Boulevard. I walked pass the Hollywood High School and then north on Highland Avenue. I had no real objective for this wandering. I just wanted to take as many photos as possible on my last day in Los Angeles.

ABC Eyewitness News

ABC Eyewitness News

Once back at the hotel I went across the street to Dennys and ordered a pink lemonade, a peanut butter and chocolate shake, and the Brooklyn Spaghetti and Meatballs. The total came to $18.72.

That was the end of my vacation. Everything went surprisingly well considering I had a complicated itinerary which required extensive use of public transportation. I saw everything I set out to see and encountered plenty of new culture which will hopefully influence me in some positive way.  I now have a much clearer impression of what Los Angeles and Hollywood is really like. I also came away with a long list of movies to see. For example, I bought the DVD of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Last Action Hero because the scenes in the police station were shot in the Sony Pictures Plaza. Last Action Hero is an under-rated parody of action films. I noticed the villain was played by Tom Noonan, a fine actor in the New York City theater community.

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