Taking a Trip to L.A. Where should I go for props?

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redbouche

Member
I'm headed to southern California for vacation in a couple of months and I'd like to see some movie sets and props. Is there any place that I should make sure that I go? I was planning on probably hitting the Universal Studios Tour, and maybe Warner or Paramount if they are worth going to. And the touristy stuff like the Hollywood sign and the walk of fame. Is the Hollywood Movie Museum worthwhile? And I may as well stop at the Prop Store while I'm there. Any must-go places I'm missing.
 

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redbouche

Member
I'm not to excited about just seeing the outside of houses or buildings used in movies. I'd like to the iconic stuff, like a BTFF Deloreon, or Marvel Universe props, or LOTR/Star Wars/Harry Potter type stuff. The kind of things that everyone recognizes.
 

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not to excited about just seeing the outside of houses or buildings used in movies. I'd like to the iconic stuff, like a BTFF Deloreon, or Marvel Universe props, or LOTR/Star Wars/Harry Potter type stuff. The kind of things that everyone recognizes.
:lol I wouldn't recognize most things Marvel or Harry Potter. Guess it depends on what you consider iconic!
 

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batguy

Sr Member
Warner Bros is more worthwhile for a film buff than Universal in some ways. It's just a "show you the studio" tour and they get more in-depth with it.

Universal is more like a trip to Six Flags. Their studio touring caters to a shorter attention span.
 

third3ye

Sr Member
WB Studio Tour - nice for film and TV buffs, and they even let you walk into the sets (typically TV shows) unless they're being used, they also have an extensive Batman and Harry Potter prop exhibit in their museum

Universal Studio Tour - part of the amusement park, nice for tourists but more of a ride and getting a bit long in the tooth though they did just add Fast & Furious to it, there is however a prop exhibit area next to the Transformers ride that currently has a BTTF DeLorean and some Jurassic Park props

FIDM Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition - depends on when you're coming here, but FIDM always has an impressive costume display each year

Arclight Cinemas - they usually have a very small number of costumes on display for whatever movie is current, I believe the Ant-Man suit is still on display at the Hollywood location, each location usually has their own display that may be different from one another
 

J EM

Well-Known Member
third3ye gives great advice. The Warner Brothers Studio Tour is an actual tour. The Universal Studio Tour you get with the purchase of a non VIP theme park ticket is presented as a theme park experience. If you purchase the VIP Experience, you get a more in-depth, personal tour of the Universal backlot as well as other perks to your overall theme park experience.
 

Riceball

Sr Member
The house of the mouse is always a must, even if there's not much prop related there. They used to have some Marvel stuff until they shut down Innovations, now the only prop/costume related stuff are a few costumes at CA Adventure from one of their shows, I forget which one but it's sort of fantasy related is all I can remember.

If you're a big Trek buff, there's always Vasquez Rocks, it's out of the way and not really in LA (truth be told, not much of what gets called LA is really in LA proper), but it is a very iconic locale. Just make sure you pack good shoes and light clothes along with plenty of water, it's hot out here and it's Vasquez Rocks is not exactly a paved tourist attraction,

As far as BTTF goes, one place you can visit is the stand in for the Twin/Lone Pine(s) mall, it's the Puente Hills Mall located in the City of Industry. It's a decent mall, nothing fancy there's not a whole lot else to see in City of Industry but around the mall and in nearby Rowland Heights, and Diamond Bar there's lots of good Chinese and Korean food to be had., especially Chinese food.
 

NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's Sony Pictures Studios..., last I was there I saw they were taking people on studio tours.... They have the Winnebago from breaking bad... restored ecto 1 and a few other vehicles on lot...

I'm not sure where they take you exactly... It's a lot of buildings... big plain buildings... but buildings with history (like the school where Shirley Temple went during her shooting days)
 

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JiminSTLouis

Sr Member
WB Studio Tour - nice for film and TV buffs, and they even let you walk into the sets (typically TV shows) unless they're being used, they also have an extensive Batman and Harry Potter prop exhibit in their museum
DITTO. My family and I did WB in March and it's awesome.
 

Riceball

Sr Member
Another place to visit is the LA County Arboretum, located in the city of Aracadia. If you're old enough to remember Fantasy Island then it's probably worth a trip there because the building that you see Tattoo ring the bell in whenever a plane is arriving is in the Arboretum. It's also been used as filming location from the '30s on with most of it occurring during the '30s to the '50s but some shows during the '80s shot there as well, the most notable being Fantasy Island but also Buck Rogers, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, and Dallas.
 
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Riceball

Sr Member
Another shooting location, and all around nice spot to visit is the Huntington Library in San Marino near Pasadena and Arcadia Lots of films and shows have been shot there over the years including scenes from and episode of Star Trek: TNG, to the first Captain America movie, and Serenity. It's also a nice place to visit just for their gardens and extensive art collection.

Speaking of nice places to visit, another nice place to visit is LA's museum row (but not really movie & TV related), it's not really called that but it's the area near the campus of USC and next door to the LA Collisseum (I think it's called the LA Exposition Center) that features several museums right next to each other. In particular, I recommend the LA County Natural History Museum (lots to see and do there), and the CA Science Center (free to get in) which has lots of interactive exhibits, a nice aquarium and is the home of the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
 

Room8

Well-Known Member
I also agree that the best studio tour is the Warner Brothers Studio tour (not the deluxe). I've been on it a couple of times and you get to see a lot of actual sets (inside and out) of current and past movies and TV shows. On the first visit, the tram went by the construction dept., and they were working on and driving the Tumbler from the Batman movies. I was pretty impressed. On the second trip, my girlfriend came along and while I loved seeing the props (there is a point midway through the tour that you get to stop by a two-story building where props and costumes are on display-but no photography allowed), she really enjoyed being able to walk on the Ellen set (we went on a Friday when the show is not taped).

In addition to that, and the other places that other board members have recommended, I would also make the trip to Malibu Creek State Park. I believe this used to be owned by 20th Century Fox Studios. It is where they filmed numerous shows and movies, such as Planet of the Apes and MASH (TV series, not movie). Once you hike to the MASH location, there are a couple of old military jeeps (rusting away), but more importantly, you can plainly see the helicopter landing pad and the mountains in the background from the series (I matched my photos to screenshots after I returned because I'm a dork).

I wasn't too impressed with the Universal tour, seeing as it has changed quite a bit since I visited as a kid. They replaced a couple of the buildings where they housed miniatures and props with what is now rollercoaster/rides. It is more of an amusement park experience.
 

Abelugo

Sr Member
Check the local colleges, FIDM being the main one, sometimes there are costumes on display, no photo allowed most times.

Also check out http://thehollywoodmuseum.com/ there some things to see there, about a 1-2hour walk inside.Its near other museums.
 

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PHArchivist

Master Member
Warner Bros is more worthwhile for a film buff than Universal in some ways. It's just a "show you the studio" tour and they get more in-depth with it.

Universal is more like a trip to Six Flags. Their studio touring caters to a shorter attention span.
Though US does now have the fairly new prop "museum" on the lower lot with the restored DeLorean...
 

PHArchivist

Master Member
As far as filming locations, be easier if YOU name the films you're interested in and then we'll help you out. There are tons - from mundane to pretty damn cool...

Also, LA ain't exactly easy to get around

Its big, densley developed, and many cool sights are on the fringes of the city, ranging from the SF Valley, to Malibu, down to OC. To put it in perspective, if you were to visit just two sites only, each on opposite ends of the "LA Compass", you'd eat up most of your day.

So...

Where are you staying, and what films do you want to see locations from?
 

batguy

Sr Member
That's true about L.A. Huge area & huge traffic. You really have to factor this into the trip.


In some places you can point a car in any direction, keep going for a couple hours, and the suburban sprawl won't look any different from where you started.

One some of the big highways they have like 5-8 lanes going each direction. And even with that much flow, the bumper-to-bumper rush hour may still go from 3:00-7:00pm every day.
 

Riceball

Sr Member
The other thing to factor in is that despite the fact that nearly every place in SoCal north of San Diego and south of the middle of nowhere tends to get called LA not everything is in LA LA. What generally gets referred to as LA really consists of not just the city of LA but all of LA and Orange County and from part to another can take at least an hour in traffic.

Another thing you might want to factor in is who you're going with, depending on the interest level of the people you're with, studio tours might not be ideal although going during the day in the middle of the week would probably help since it means avoiding traffic and a lot of the crowds.

Btw, if you're at all interested in cars another place to check out is the Peterson Automotive Museum, they not only have a generally impressive collection of cars they also have a number of movie cars on display as well. The last time I was there they had the old Batbike with sidecar from the old Batman series or movie and they had toys of it that you could buy in the gift shop as well.
 

third3ye

Sr Member
Forgot to add, the WB tour also has all the Batmobiles and the TDK Batpod on display.

Anyone done the Paramount tour? I'd like to see if it's worth the $50 admission.
 

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