If you take the studio tour at the Warner Bros. lot you will find yourself riding on a open-sided shuttle and passing through sun-filled streets of Chicago, New York, and Big-City-and-Small-Town Anywhere, U.S.A. All fictional, of course.
Thanks to binge-watching on the internet, the demand for TV series and movies is seemingly endless and on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour you will also see street after street of huge sound stages–all busier than they have been in years. The production of entertainment is a thriving big business in Los Angeles these days.
Here is some of what you see on the Studio Tour:
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I was over at Warner Studios having lunch with two friends when the one who works there suggested we go to the Warner movie museum. We did and it was fun.
But, you can’t just wander onto the Warner lot in Burbank to visit the museum. You have to take the Studio Tour (unless you are a guest of a Studio employee which we were.) Entrance to the museum is the next to the last stop on the Warner Studio Tourthat costs $65.
So to save you money here are some highlights of the movie museum. In my next post I will show you the Warner Studio lot with outdoor scenes/sets you will recognize from your favorite TV shows and movies.
Okay. Here are highlights from the Museum:
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I watched the last U. S. government Delta rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB on the central California coast this morning. It is carrying a satellite that will survey the ice in Antarctica.
From now on SpaceX and other private companies will be used to send satellites into space. I took this photo from my balcony and the distance to that red dot which is the rocket is over 100 miles. It quickly disappeared behind the palm tree on the left.
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Scientology’s most famous member, Tom Cruise, no longer owns a home in Los Angeles, but when he is in town he can always stay at the Scientology Celebrity Center and its Manor Hotel on Franklin St. in Hollywood..
Built by the widow of an early Hollywood movie mogul, the Celebrity Center was originally called the Chateau Elysee and was a combination of apartments and a hotel for the international elite.
In an early photo of the building it stands grand and glorious at the edge of the Hollywood Hills. Today it is surrounded by tall fences, except at the entrance to the hotel where a guy in a casual clothes reading a newspaper turned out to be a guard.
There is another gate with a sign that reads “Welcome” and offers free classes, but you have to ring the bell for admission to what looks like a very lovely garden terrace. And I have no doubt that if you ring the bell you will be greeted almost instantly by someone who is actually a Scientology recruiter.
The cornerstone for the church commonly called “La Placita” church in the historic district of the Pueblo of Los Angeles was laid by Franciscan Luis Gil y Taboada in 1814 on the ruins of an older church founded in 1784. It is the oldest church in Los Angeles.
And, much to my surprise, La Placita has recently been painted all white…well, except for one wall on the side by the cemetery so perhaps the painting is not complete. Quite frankly, I preferred the beige and red colors of the previous exterior paint. Because it is a parish church and Sunday services were being held I did not see if the interior has been repainted too.
This church faces onto the historic plaza at the end of Olvera Street near downtown Los Angeles.
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The Avila Adobe is the oldest remaining home in Los Angeles. (The nearby La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, more commonly known as La Placita church, is 4 years older and I’ll be writing about it in the next post.)
This home was built by Californio cattleman Francisco Avila in 1818 as an in-town residence for his family. He also had a home on his ranch near what is now the Mid-Wilshire area by the La Brea Tar Pits.
Members of the Avila family lived in this adobe until 1868 then turned it into a rental. By 1926 the building had fallen into disrepair before being restored as part of a revitalization of Olvera Street.
The building is now managed by the National Park Service and entry is free. It offers a good idea of how well-to-do people lived in Southern California back in 1818.
This cart, below, was built by Darryl Robertshaw in 2004 as a replica of the carts used originally to bring produce to Olvera Street, the main street of Los Angeles. There is a similar cart used for bringing in grapes on display at the San Gabriel Mission.
Kitchens back then were always separate from the main house– not only in California, but in homes around the world. Here in California, the Avila kitchen was outdoors on one side of the courtyard.
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It is a Double-header this weekend in Pasadena: the Alien Con is at the Convention Center and across the street dozens and dozens of chalk artists are creating works on the Plaza at Paseo Colorado. And it was very crowded on Saturday!
I went at noon on Saturday and most of the artists were just beginning. First they drew an outline of the picture they planned to create, then painstakingly started to fill in with removable paint and chalk. It all gets power-washed off the plaza on Tuesday. Here is some of what I saw in 2018.