Thursday, February 9, 2023

Paramount Pictures: Get ready for your close up at Hollywood studio


The famous gate to Paramount Pictures has been used in many films, including "Sunset
Boulevard" which tells the story of a fading star and her struggle to endure in the pictures.


Ready for their close-up, "Keller and
Cookie" share an Oscar moment.



WE HAD so much fun playing tourist at Paramount Pictures.  

We sat on Forest Gump's famous bench, admired a larger than life and ever endearing Shrek, watched an intriguing film clip on the studio's history and drove past sets of a dozen huge box office hits.

The studio is Hollywood's most famous, home to eccentric directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, who had a lavish apartment on the lot and blocked the window with a bookcase so he couldn't be spied upon.  Paramount also was home to scores of stars from film's golden age and remains home for many of today's stars.

Bruce Keller rests on Forest Gump's bench. "Where's my
box of chocolates?" he wondered. The tour stops at
several iconic movie sets and a large house of props.

George Burns and Gracie Allen called Paramount home and dozens of other greats did, too. Lucy sold Desilu to Paramount for $17 million and is known on the lot for developing a school for young actors there, including her own children.
WE KNEW the references to Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert, Groucho Marx, Marlene Dietrich and Frederic March, while the younger members of our 10-person tour looked puzzled at the mention of those cinematic heroes.
They knew Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise of course, and famous Paramount box office smashes: "The Godfather" (both the original and part two), "Titanic," the "Shrek" and "Transformers" films, "Grease," "The Wolf of Wall Street," and the controversial "Romeo and Juliet," whose now aging stars have recently launched law suits claiming they didn't consent to the nearly-nude scenes.
Takers of the Paramount tour can see what's on the lot each day.

PARAMOUNT is known for riding the talkie boom to unprecedented heights, reaping industry-record profits of $18.4 million in 1930 (and out-earning all of the other majors), only to suffer financial collapse a year later under the weight of oversized budgets, the costly conversion to sound, and the massive debt service associated with its huge theater chain. After net losses of $21 million in 1932—another industry record—Paramount declared bankruptcy in early 1933. The financial turmoil led to a massive executive shake-up but Paramount survived and made a come back in the WWII years.

A New York City set gets a lot of use, with its familiar
yellow taxis.  Here, tour takers are allowed to pose.

The "Transformer" films were a huge hit for
Paramount. Here, Cookie stops at one of the
transformers. The $25 billion success story includes
15 films, video games, sound tracks and more.
WHAT IMPRESSES the tourist first is the enormity of Paramount.  The original studio was 26 acres and four stages.  Paramount has grown to 65 acres over the years with 30 sound stages range from 5,500 to 18,775 square feet and capable of handling large projects.

"Beam us up, Scotty," say Cookie
 and Keller in the "Star Trek" set.

Nickelodeon and Miramax have ties to Paramount,, and you'll see posters of celebrated films, popular TV shows and commercials.

Today, Paramount partners with projects large and small in a ceaseless effort to create celebrated movies, television shows, and commercials. The studio lot is hallowed ground for "Star Trek" fans, and posters abound of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. "Dr. Phil" is recorded on Paramount's Stage 29 and is the longest running regularly scheduled TV show in Hollywood.
Paramount's net worth as of January of this year is $1.27 billion, so the studio is looking good financially.
Tours are $63 for two hours, and $199 for a special VIP "Insider" look with a gourmet meal on location.
323 956-1777.

Santa Barbara's Maritime Museum earns its stellar
reputation with a wealth of attractive, informative exhibits. 
NEXT UP:  The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is a treasure trove of maritime history with colorful, beautifully curated exhibits, rare artifacts and a lively calendar of events welcoming sea loving guests and members.  Take a look at the museum which weaves a thoughtful collection of displays to illustrate man's connection to the sea. Set your sails with us for a memorable visit, remembering to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on nature, travel, family, the arts and more. Please share the


  1. What fun. We did the Universal tour. Paramount's sounds even more fun.

  2. We see all the new films and love the classics, too. Studio tours are great fun.

  3. We love studio tours and agree that Paramount's is the best!