Who doesn’t love to go to the movies? It’s always something else when you see a movie actually on a wide, huge screen instead of the the televisions at home. Even though they are today cinema-like, the home cinemas. But nothing gives the same feeling, excitement you get at an evening out with friends or your partner and going to a movie theater, or to the pictures.
I am big fan of the big screen and love to go. Sometimes I really miss it. So no wonder I was super excited to go and have a guided tour at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film studio. One of the oldest in Hollywood and the fifth oldest in the world. The 22 stars in the Paramount logo are a symbol of the 22 actors and actresses founder Arthur Zukor contracted and honored in 1916. Since 2014 is the major Hollywood studio to contribute all its films in digital form only.
In the 1930s there were under contract actors and actresses like Marlene Dietrich, Claudette Colbert, Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper.
Interesting that until the 1940s they pre-sold movies, even though they weren’t in the make. That way they got money ahead for the filming. Anyway, since 1040 this was legally not aloud and instead of over 70 movies a year they went under 20. Which is still a big number I think.
Tough times in the 60s and 70s of last century but movies like ‘The Godfather’, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘Love Story’ or ‘3 Days of the Condor’ helped to come out of the miserable situation. Who doesn’t remember these movies…
These were also the years Paramount Television was reincorporated.
There are so many movies by Paramount Pictures. American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman, Footloose, Top Gun, Crocodile Dundee, Ghost, Indiana Jones, Eddy Murphy movies and many more.
In 1983 there was a big fire at the Paramount ground which destroyed a few sound stages and outdoor sets.
In 2005 the Paramount Motion Pictures Group bought DreamWorks, also well known.
Studio tours are offered daily here. They are pretty expensive honestly but more than worth. The tours are never the same as they can’t disturb working sets. Unfortunately on my tour I have not seen even one celebrity. But we were only 6 people and the guide was one of the best I ever had. He way to explain and tell stories came from his heart even though he was very young.
I loved to see all those black and white photos of ‘old’ actors, my favorite Audrey Hepburn amongst them. We visited some film sets, our guide nominating movies made exactly here and there.
I loved the parking place of the film studios. Why? Because it has a background wall. Painted. Like a sky. And: the parking place it lightly deeper that the surroundings with a meter of wall around. OK, what is so interesting in this? It can be completely flooded (there is a water tower nearby) and this way it becomes and ocean. Which was used for example for the filming of the movie ‘Life of Pi’ (I saw the movie, never read the book).
In the waiting room is a kind of little museum. We saw old costumes of historical movies and and old filming camera. Impressive is the mask of ‘Benjamin Button’. It looks like a death mask of an old Brad Pitt.
The entrance of the studio is beautiful and old style.
We drove through a lot of streets with warehouse liked buildings which actually are different sets. In many we could read was was filmed right now. Some were closed, others were empty and we could enter.
Outside a few trailers where actors and actresses could have some privacy.
I loved also the props storehouse. There were props used for famous movies. I recognized the cabin of Star trek where they could beam people from one place to another (I was tempted to try out but I was in perfect company I didn’t want to leave).
The whole tour is a coupe of hours long and ends with a stop at the cafeteria for a snack, a coffee or some souvenirs. Against all my normal behavior I bought a great t-Shirt.
I enjoyed the tour and would always recommend to take one. Even though it is expensive and it needs a reservation ahead.
I was amazed how movies where made once, how they are done today. I think from mutual, simple, short movies to digital, sophisticated movies of today in just 100 years is a wonderful step. I can’t say which one I like more, maybe the simpler once, but I enjoy sometimes also the newest, computer made once.
The tricks they use to create a dramatic sky, to let it rain or to reconstruct whole streets of the 50s is really amazing.
By the way: the highest-grossing movies are at first place Titanic, the Transformers series (never seen), Forrest Gump (we set of the bench where Forest sat), Shrek (never seen) and others.
Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles, California/USA:
For further information:
Paramount Pictures Tours
To contact the Paramount Pictures Studios