For people who have never been on a movie or television set, the first thing you need to be prepared for on a studio tour is that it is really a bunch of warehouses full of lights, cables and set pieces. You get limited access to sets, and never when they are in use. The chances of seeing actors are slim, although it happens occasionally. The quality of the experience usually depends on the quality of the guide and how much of a fan you are. Some tours are by tram, others are all walking, and some combine the two. Most studio tours have an age limit.
Cart or tram tours of the studio behind the famous Paramount Arches are offered several times a day, Monday through Friday. Reservations are required.
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
A 2-hour guided walking tour of the studio including some sets. Tours are offered four times a day Monday through Friday. If you're up for the walking, this tour seems to get better marks than the other studio tours and is the most economical as well. Reservations are recommended.
10202 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
This is a combination cart and walking tour, so you must be able to do the walking part. This tour is the most expensive of the studio tours, but doesn't offer anything more than the less expensive tours. Warner Bros also offers a 5-hour premium tour.
3400 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91522
More on Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour
You can't compare the Universal Studios Tour with the other studio tours because it is part of the Universal Studios Hollywood
theme park. Not only do you have to pay theme park prices to take the tram tour, but it also includes special effects sets so you get to experience an earthquake, flood and car crash along the way. However, you also get to see sets that have been used in TV shows and famous movies like Psycho and War of the Worlds and some sets, like Wisteria Lane, that are still in use. The tour has to keep a distance from anything shooting that may be going on, so the route changes.
Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Newhall, north of Los Angeles is a working set for everything from westerns to war movies. Its museum houses nine decades of movie memorabilia. Tours are only available for groups.