Reel Hollywood, Part 1: Warner Brothers

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It is estimated that well over 45 million people visit “Hollywood” each year; but how many of those 45 million people actually see the real deal? The fact is the what we generally call “Hollywood” is indeed the epi-center of the entertainment industry certainly in North America but with a huge and powerful global reach. Television shows. movies even video games reach out to our world from Hollywood bringing not only entertainment but also dreams of the glitz and the glamour widely associated with “Hollywood” and the world of entertainment.

Warner Brothers Icon Bugs Bunny

I cannot say for an absolute certainty but feel very comfortable stating that many, if not most, tourists that visit Tinseltown don’t see the real and the reel deal. That is too bad because what there is to see is richly and powerfully fascinating. To help the visitors have more fun and gain more knowledge I shall began a series that focuses on the best of the best in Hollywood tour options. Not necessarily in order of rank, but likely very nearly so I begin with a look at Warner Brothers Studios.

On April 4th 1923 brothers Albert, Sam, Harry and Jack Warner incorporated their fledgling movie company as Warner Brothers Entertainment.  Only six years later in 1929 a film now owned by Warner Brothers albeit originally produced by MGM The Broadway Melody won an Oscar for Best Picture. Two years later Cimarron, originally produced by RKO and now owned by Warner Brothers, won a Best Picture Oscar.


Two of their most classic films, Gone with the Wind garnered an Oscar for Best Picture in 1939 (originally produced by MGM movie now owned by Warner Brothers) and Casablanca won in 1943 was produced and owned by Warner Brothers. In fact, Warner Brothers Studios owns more Oscar wining films than any other studio in the world and all of that magic is on display in some form along the path of the Warner Brothers Studios tour. Oh but there is so much more.

Warner Brothers has also produced such smash hit TV shows as Gilmore Girls, The Big Bang Theory and Friends and as you tour on you will visit the sets where these and other great shows were shot.

From another Warner Brothers Oscar winning movie La La Land you will visit the exterior of “Café Sur Le Lot” and imagine walking along with Mia and Seb. While not an actual component of the tour you may also visit the very nearby great restaurant The Smoke House where yet another scene of La La Land was filmed and where you can enjoy a delicious meal.

In the prop shop

Another exciting place you will visit on this tour is the Warner Brothers Studios prop shop holding literally millions of props of every imaginable type including such classics as the sign for “Rick’s Café Americain” and the piano from Casablanca.

Rick’s Café Americain

There will also be a visit to the Archive featuring the DC [comics] Universe, The Exhibit and Harry Potter and a major tribute to Wonder Woman.

And then there is the Batmobile Museum. How absolutely exciting and our tour guided added even more fun with the knowledge of how that decision was made that skilled professional drivers and not actors would be the only ones allowed to drive Batmobiles. Let’s just say that actors tend to act better than they drive and most drivers don’t act.

Actress Germany Kent in front of a Batmobile exhibit

The tour lasts about three hours beginning with a brief video to set up the experience before heading out with your tour guide. Each tour group is only about eight to ten people meaning you get full attention and can fully immerse yourself in this magical tour. The tour guides are also extremely knowledgeable about all things Warner Brothers be it film, television or other media so they can and do answer any and every question with genuine knowledge.

Actress Germany Kent on a set

One fairly unique extra benefit the day of this tour — I was joined by actress, TV personality and fellow journalist Germany Kent [Graceland, Criminal Minds and Real Housewives of Atlanta].

The tour ends at the Café and gift shop where you may dine and shop a massive sea of awesome collectibles that help secure forever this one magic moment in real Hollywood. However, on this day we chose to dine down the street at the Smoke House.

Germany Kent in front of WB icons Superman and Wonder Woman

For Warner Brothers Studio tour information visit

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Photos by Ron Irwin unless otherwise noted