A visit to the Sony Pictures Studios may well be one of the highlights of your visit, if you are a tourist in this city. From ... More
Sony Pictures Studios
A visit to the Sony Pictures Studios may well be one of the highlights of your visit, if you are a tourist in this city. From 1924 to 1986, the venue was home to MGM studios, until Sony took over and placed its Columbia, Tri-Star acquisitions there. The premises are always humming with activity, thanks to the numerous productions and film shootings in progress. Vast and plush interiors play host to movie stars by the dozen, often surrounded by eager fans. Huge stages, state-of-the-art equipment, restaurants and perhaps the odd event or two, are open to those who avail of the daily Sony Pictures Studio Tour. A stroll through the in-house museum will acquaint you with the studio's glory days. And you can even throw a party here, in their event venues. People must be 12 years or older to attend the tour.
Ok here’s the lowdown on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour, please keep in mind that I toured the studio in late 2000, eons before Sony bought MGM. (But I plan on going to now Sony owns all MGM Trademarks.)
MGM-buffs and film scholars who are itching to see the grounds where Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer once ruled since this was once the legendary home of Leo the Lion will be disappointed because the tour focuses mainly on Columbia and not in MGM which technically is a crime since MGM spent almost six years sprawling at this studio the basic history of this studio is MGM. Columbia spent most of its existence in the Sunset-Gower Studio and co-owned the Burbank Studio, so it’s a relatively a newcomer here in Culver City. MGM only gets a passing reference. Another drawback to this tour is there is no backlots to wonder around unlike the Paramount Tour or the Warner Bros. VIP Tour this one is completely devoid of out door sets (I really don’t blame SPE since those lots disappeared in the early 1970s). So it’s really only a studio tour.
Despite this shortcoming, it’s still a treat to walk inside this studio where at one-time had more stars than there are in heaven. Despite having no sets to walk through, fans can see the THALBERG EXECUTIVE BUILDING, the COLLONADE (the classic main gate located in Washington Blvd.), dozens of art-deco buildings, the CRAWFORD BUILDING (the schoolhouse of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland), the COMMISARY, the office of L.B. Mayer and of course the Legendary Sound Stage 27 where the Wizard of Oz was shot (some say the yellow brick road still exits but we didn’t get to go in a movie was being shot there).
For nostalgic sake and for those who haven’t seen the inside of a studio before go ahead this isn’t the worst studio tour but not the best. But for those who really wants to see an authentic studio tour and if you have the dough for it, I suggest you go to the Warner Bros. Tour it’s the best in town!
Hope this helps! (keep in mind that I toured the studio in late 2000, eons before Sony bought MGM. (But I plan on going to now Sony owns all MGM Trademarks.)
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