On the backlot at Burbank on the Warner Bros. tour (pictures)

Warner Bros. Studios is a Burbank, California landmark, where countless unforgettable movies and TV shows were made. Turns out, you can take a full tour.

Geoffrey Morrison
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You start the tour at a building at the edge of a lot, then take a tram kind of like a stretched golf cart into the lot proper.

For the full story behind the tour, check out Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Warner Bros. Studio.

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The outside area where shows and movies are made is called the backlot. Here, building facades, most empty shells, double for countless locations and eras from all over the world.

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Where are you?

Designed to look like everywhere, and nowhere, with a bit of set decoration this could be New York in the 90's, Paris in the 30's, or Spokane last week.

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Streets leading nowhere

Here, several facades show some decoration from a recent shoot. If you're watching a show or movie and it's not obvious that an actor is in a certain city (like, they're standing in front of the Statue of Liberty), they're almost certainly not. They're probably on a backlot or soundstage somewhere.

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Sound stage

Massive hanger-sized buildings called sound stages offer a soundproof and controllable space to shoot a movie or TV show. The WB lot in Burbank is one of the largest in the world.

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Elephant doors

Each sound stage has massive "elephant doors" so pieces of the set built elsewhere can be moved in and out.

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Wish you were here

Does this look familiar? I wish I could have gotten closer. That intersection, between that white Lexus and the golf cart, is where one of the most iconic album covers ever was shot.

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The Mill

Whatever you want for your movie, they can probably make it here. The Mill is one of the largest buildings on the lot.

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My tour was shortly before the release of "Batman v Superman", so there was a lot of Batman stuff. In one space, several vehicles from the various movies sat together. Based on car chassis, they all ran under their own power (some better than others).

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I had completely blocked this movie from my memory. It's called the Bathammer, if for some reason you're curious.

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In the real world, the Tumbler is by far the fastest Batmobile. It does 0-60 in 5.6 seconds thanks to a 500-horsepower V-8 engine.

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Props galore

The Prop House has millions of props big and small. Anything you need to decorate the sets of your movies, all cataloged and well maintained.

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Little vignettes give production designers ideas, and group some like items together. The prop house will rent to just about anyone making a movie.

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Mr. President

President Bartlet's actual desk!

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Not so Neo

The two famous red chairs from "The Matrix."

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Need a phone?

If your TV show is set in the 50's, it's not like you can run out to Best Buy and get a phone to put on a desk. There's this much selection for pretty much every object you can think of.

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My lips are sealed

Which sets you can visit varies. I've done this tour four times over the years and each time you see something different. It depends what's shooting and what's on hiatus. Turns out we weren't supposed to take pictures in here, so I won't say what show this is.

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Back to the backlot

This is called New York Street, but that elevated train line at the end was used in many episodes of "ER."

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More New York

New York Street, the other way. For a full list of what you might see on a tour, check out Warner's Exterior Sets page.

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That courthouse-looking building, down the end, is part of Embassy Courtyard and New York Park. It has been used in countless movies.

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For a part of the tour you get to explore the Archive, a sort of museum for famous sets and props. Downstairs was extensive Batman memorabilia. Upstairs was Harry Potter.

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Bane and bomb

Leave it to Christopher Nolan to build something like that for real, and have it look like it's actually working.

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Uh, yeah

This was also a Batman movie that was made.


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Costumes from a bunch of the movies, plus some props, a working sorting hat, and a life-sized Death Eater (for selfie purposes).

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My footsteps were not shown. Stupid muggle blood.

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Stage 48

New to the tour is "Stage 48," a separate building that shows the process of making a movie, from "script to screen." It's a great addition, showing you how stuff actually works behind the scenes.

Amusingly, in the screenwriting section, Robert McKee's "Story" is on the desk, a book lauded by screenwriting teachers and derided by actual screenwriters.

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Central Perk

Yep, you get to sit in a reproduction of the Central Perk set. Depending on your timing, you can even take part in a fake "episode" where you say lines and interact (on screen) with Monica and Phoebe. Everyone who did it seemed to love it.

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Mad Max

Costumes from the real best picture of 2015.

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Green screen

Batbike or broom, take a seat and get a video of your riding or flying through a fictional world.

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At the end of the tour there's a room with a few last props and costumes. I didn't know this still existed. One of my favorites of all time. Name that movie...

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West Wing

Bartlet for America!

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That's all folks...

I'd like to thank the Academy.

Fun fact! These are actually heavy. More Fun Facts! I have a credit on a major Hollywood movie...OK, "major."

For the full story on the tour, check out Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Warner Bros. Studio.

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