Universal Studios California Backlot Tour

One of the most interesting things we saw on our 2001 Southern California vacation was the backlot tour of Universal Studios.  Below are pictures I took during the tour of the Universal Studios California Backlot Tour.  Tours are given in trams with a guide narrating the scenes.  Depending on when you go, areas of the backlot are sometimes closed while they are filming.

Click on pictures for a larger view.

Universal Studios Lot

Tours of the back lot are given on trams

Universal Studios

Note the courthouse with clock (used in Back to the Future) and Warner Bro. Studios in the background

Minature set at Universal Studios

Minature set

Universal Studios Backlot

View behind one of the blocks

Universal Studios Backlot

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.

The Munsters TV Set

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.

Universal Studios Soundstage

Behind some of the soundstages

Universal Studios Backlot

They had old Mexico sections, New York, western, etc. Not sure which section this one is.

Universal Studios firehouse set

Fire Station set that is a real, working fire station.

Universal Studios Backlot

Shot from behind one of the blocks

Universal Studios Backlot

Building in the western block

Bate's Motel set

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.

Universal Studios Backlot

The house from the movie Psycho

The Grinch set

The Grinch set

Universal Studios Backlot

Western town

Universal Studios Backlot

I think this may be the old New York block

Universal Studios Backlot

Again, more of the old New York block?

Universal Studios Backlot

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

Universal Studios Backlot

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.

Universal Studios Backlot

Interesting alley in the backlot

Universal Studios 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.

Universal Studios Backlot

Gas station set

Universal Studios Backlot

Interesting shot that shows a half finished building

Universal Studios Backlot

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.

Universal Studios Backlot

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.

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