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Warner Brothers Studio Tour - Friends Central Perk set

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

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Hey movie buffs, if you’re looking for a true peek behind the scenes of movie and television show making magic, then it’s time you picked up some tickets for the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. My family took part in the 2 1/2-hour tour that took us through many familiar landscapes, homes, and sets.

What Sets the Warner Brothers Studio Tour Apart

  • Unlike other studio tours, which can feel like a cattle call, tour groups on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour are purposefully kept small with approximately 12 people in a group along with one guide.
  • Visitors get on and off of the “stretch golf cart” they ride throughout the tour to walk the streets and look inside the homes of some the most popular TV shows and movies.

See Familiar Landscapes and Homes

The trek through Hollywood fun began right away. Our first stop on the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour was in Midwest Street’s idyllic town square. At the time of our tour, it was done up as the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, the location of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.

We were then directed to a small collection of homes just off the square. On one corner stood a beautiful gabled house with a turret, featured as the home of the Seavers in Growing Pains. Next door was a house featured in the 80’s classic movie Gremlins.

But it was the house across the street that really stunned us. It had been the Geller home in the TV series, Friends. Ardent fans of the show, my husband and I recognized it immediately. As it turns out, this home was a mere shell! There wasn’t much inside aside; a staircase which leads to nowhere, no ceiling, no interior. There wasn’t even a working kitchen sink inside this house! From the outside nothing seemed amiss but the inside could be adjusted and switched around to accommodate different projects.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour - Geller House

A highlight of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour was seeing the Geller family home from Friends.

Explore Sound Stages

Another stop on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour was the sound stage of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was fun to walk down the aisle many viewers have seen Ellen dance down during her shows. We even got a look at the set as well as her famous Riff Raff Room, as the off-shoot space where those who could not get into the studio watch the show’s taping.

The set of The Big Bang Theory was also on our tour. Here we made our way up into the audience seating area and looked over into the set. The Big Bang Theory is filmed in front of a live studio audience. There were four sets sitting side by side. The two main ones are the apartments often seen on the show, and they are flanked on each side by rotating sets that can be dressed up for different scenarios. The week before our tour, one of them had been a shopping mall.

Displays and Exhibits

Warner Brothers was celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman during our visit. This gave us two opportunities to check out all sorts of the things connected to the super hero.

Our first stop afforded us quality time with Batman’s vehicles. My family even took advantage of a green screen experience where we were instructed to look nervous and pretend we were running. A large villainous tank was later put in the background of our shot. While the rest of the family found that photo amusing, my son will tell you that the highlight in that stop for him was getting to control the Bat Signal!

Later in the tour, we got up close to an incredible collection of costumes, props and other Batman-related items in the Warner Brothers Museum.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour - Batman memorabilia

Because Warner Bros. was celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman, there was plenty of memorabilia to enjoy!

Find Traces of History

Hollywood isn’t generally a sentimental place, but if you look closely or you’re lucky enough to get a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide who can point them out, you can see traces of history. The sound stage where the show ER was filmed still has a plaque next to the door calling it the ER stage. Our guide also pointed out the last remaining structure from the Bogart classic, Casablanca.

We were fortunate to experience a favorite that was brought back to life, Central Perk, the coffee house from Friends. Reconstructed for an interview Jay Leno conducted with the show’s cast, the management at Warner Brothers Studio decided to keep it and make it part of the tour. It was fun for Friends fans like my husband and me to go in and sit on the Friends couch.

There was so much to enjoy on this tour. We took a short drive through departments where sets are constructed and props are assembled. We saw hints of humanity that were surprising like a monument to Warner Brothers employees lost during World War II. By the end, we really felt like we’d had an intimate experience with this studio.

Things to know:

  • Children need to be at least eight years-old to go on the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour.
  • You are encouraged to ask questions.
  • Depending on activities and filming taking place at Warner Bros. Studios, your tour could be a little different than the one we experienced.
  • Photos are not allowed in the sound stages and the studio is serious about that.

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Central Perk photo by Kārlis Dambrāns / CC BY 2.0

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Kristine lives in Mountain View, California, where she is the mother of a gifted girl athlete and a special needs charmer. Like almost everything in her house,…

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