One of the most interesting things we saw on our 2001 Southern California vacation was the backlot tour of Universal Studios. Â Below are pictures I took during the tour of the Universal Studios California Backlot Tour. Â Tours are given in trams with a guide narrating the scenes. Â Depending on when you go, areas of the backlot are sometimes closed while they are filming.
Click on pictures for a larger view.
Tours of the back lot are given on trams
Note the courthouse with clock (used in Back to the Future) and Warner Bro. Studios in the background
View behind one of the blocks
Good shot behind the facade of one of the buildings
Overview of the backlot. You can see the Back to the Future courthouse in this one too.
House from the old Munsters TV show is officially known as Building 3 or "Maxim House" on Colonial Street. Â In the photo above it is in its "undressed" state. Â The house was also used in the Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man movie and early Alfred Hitchcock movies (before cosmetic changes were made for the Munsters TV show). Â Not as scary in color and during the daytime.
Universal Studios Soundstages. The Mummy was being filmed during our trip.
Behind some of the soundstages
They had old Mexico sections, New York, western, etc. Not sure which section this one is.
Fire Station set that is a real, working fire station.
Shot from behind one of the blocks
Building in the western block
Interesting picture. This is the Bates Motel from Psycho. You can see the Bates house in the back. You can also see a bit of the set from the Grinch on the right-hand side of the picture.
The house from the movie Psycho
The Grinch set
I think this may be the old New York block
Again, more of the old New York block?
Lights waiting to be carried into the set. The sign on the door says "keep out".
Stage 37 where they filmed The Jeffersons, The Color Purple, The Facts of Life, Hollywood Squares, Crossing Jordan, and Heroes
The famous courthouse square was closed for filming but if you could enter here and turn right, you'd see the courthouse used in Back to the Future and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Interesting alley in the backlot
Yeah, that looks like the Back to the Future courthouse but it's not. This is on New York Street where they filmed Transformers and Bruce Almighty.
Gas station set
Interesting shot that shows a half finished building
Chinatown in the Universal Studios backlot
Not a great shot but the huge thing in the background is a screen used for projections and such. Much bigger than an old drive-in movie screen. Known as the "backdrop", I believe it's in front of a huge man-made lake.
This building was later used in the Jurassic Park as Site B (thanks to Mads for pointing this out). Â In earlier days, the Falls Lake waterfall used to flow down the hill in the background.