. L.A. Feature_Studios

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Behind the Scenes: See How Movies, TV Shows Are Made

LOS ANGELES a Big Hollywood studios have been making

movies for more than 70 years, and the folks in the back shop realize that not only will people pay to see the final product, but they'll also shell out quite a bit to see how movies are made. Voila! The latest must-see on a vacation itinerary: a studio tour.

A behind-the-scenes tour of a movie or TV studio can

mean a stroll onto the set of a sitcom or talk show, or rubbernecking to see every detail of the set where the latest Bruce Willis movie was shot. L.A. visitors who paid $29 for the Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour this spring will have a decided advantage over the folks back home when "Eraser," Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest action film, opens this summer. They can muse out loud that they saw the set where some scenes were filmed.

"Going on a behind-the-scenes tour of a movie studio is what everyone wants to do these days when they come to Hollywood," said Dick Mason, tour manager at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. "We've been expanding every year and most of it's word-of-mouth business. We can't promise anything, but recent visitors have seen the sets for `Eraser' and `Glimmerman,'" a Steven Seagal action film scheduled for fall release.

Those who take the two-hour Warner Bros. golf-cart tour will find it among the most expensive but also the most detailed of the Hollywood studio tours. Guides deliver a fascinating rap on the history of movies and TV, show visitors where scenery is built and allow a peek into the costume department, where more than a million ensembles are stored. In the sound department, rapt visitors love it when technicians reveal tricks-of-the-trade. Then it's on to the tallest sound stage in the world, where the new "Batman" movie is in production this summer.

Many top TV shows are produced on the Warner lot, including "Murphy Brown," "Friends" and "Family Matters." The luck of the draw: seeing celebrities. The 10 a.m. golf carters may see a dozen celebs while a later tourazilch.

"Nothing is set up just for the tour groups," Mason

added. "What they see is people going about their work." Tours are limited to 12 people and reservations (a week in advance during the busy summer months) are highly recommended. Call 818/954-1744.

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