Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the oldest movie studios in Hollywood that is still operating. At the same time it is one of the premier theme parks in the country. The original function of the studio tour was for showing to the public the sound stages of Universal Studios and the movie sets. Around since the days of silent movies, this was the beginning of the original tours. However they were discontinued in the 1930s and it was not until 1964 they began again.
This time the tours allowed visitors to see movies being produced and get a glimpse of the dressing rooms of the stars. The tour grew, with related attractions added, until it took over as a theme park with stunt demonstrations, staged events and rides galore. The productions that used to be the draw for those visiting Universal Studios Hollywood almost took a back seat to the theme park.
Sitting atop a hill with the most gorgeous views of the San Fernando Valley and north Hollywood, this original theme park is located near many other attractions. One is the Gibson Amphitheatre that hosts many of the big name artists in the music field as well as hosting award ceremonies. The most recent was the MTV Movie Awards.
City Walk is another attraction nearby with many restaurants and shops. This is the place to find street performers. The musicians, magicians and mimes are often spotted along this entrance to the theme parks. The Hollywood Bowl is also nearby.
The history of Universal Studios Hollywood is unlike any other. For one, being located in an unincorporated area, Universal City was on 230 acres of ranch land that is now North Hollywood. Many of the other studio chiefs thought being out in the country was a mistake since it was so away from the city. Even the founder, Carl Laemmle began to have second thoughts. However, the magic of making movies prevailed and Universal Studios Hollywood was to become a big hit in the world of film making.
No other studios can boast the rich history of Universal. The ranch even originally had a working farm and part of the original tours included the opportunity to buy fresh grown produce. The fact that it is still in operation today just adds to the unique charisma of the studio. The sheer number of television shows and movies that have been made here is rather quite amazing.
The many beloved characters that had their beginnings in this very spot populate the park; these many characters helped make Universal Studios Hollywood such a major part of the history of film making. Spiderman, Woody Woodpecker, the Flintstones and Curious George are just a few of the residents of the place.
The theme park aspect of this studio will be a thrill for the whole family. There are a number of rides that can get your pulse pounding such as the Revenge of the Mummy. Do not miss the House of Horrors. This is where you can scare yourself silly with the favorite characters from all the horror movies you have ever watched. Don’t be surprised if you run into Chucky or Frankenstein. Just remember to keep your wits about you and make your way to other side.
Universal Studios Hollywood is definitely one of the best vacation destinations to visit in California. No trip to this area would be complete without taking the time to visit the studio that has withstood the test of time by providing fun, excitement, thrills and movies from the silent era to the present. A working studio with a theme park; what a great idea!
Michael Key has written about a variety of technical and travel topics for three decades. For more information on Universal Studios Hollywood check out the SoCal Vacation Guru website at http://www.socal-vacation-guru.com.