Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two Thumbs DOWN!

That's my opinion of the Paramount Studios Tour.

From the minute you arrive, there is a lot of unnecessary to-ing and fro-ing. 
1.  Park in the approved lot - and hand over $10 for the privilege.
2.  Walk across Melrose and go to the guardhouse.
3.  Take your driver's license out of it's sleeve and hand it to the guard who swipes it (never seen that before!) and hands it back to you with a sheet of typing paper with a 4/c map and "Admit One" with your very own name printed right on it!  (Whee.  What if I'd forgotten my name?)
4.  You then walk about 1 1/2 blocks to the gift shop where your guide will meet you. 

All visitors are instructed to be half an hour early, presumably so that you will rush madly around the gift shop buying the usual dreck.  We didn't.

Lindsay, who would be our guide, then appeared and led us to an 8-passenger golf cart and we piled in.  It was something of a squeeze.

I have no idea how old Lindsay is, but I now know that she has a twin sister, comes from Poughkeepsie, NY, has had this job for seven months after arriving in Los Angeles 10 months ago.  Afterward, driving away in our car, I realized Lindsay had reminded me strongly of Monica Lewinski - beautiful face and skin, still a bit of baby pudge. 

Perhaps she spent the three month's joblessness learning Valley Girl Speak as she is extremely fluent in it.  Some favorite phrases..."Pretty intense" after she told us that the theatre is going to have 32 additional amps installed.  "And it's like loud now!"  She describes working on the lot as "Pretty crazy"  "Pretty awesome" was used enthusiastically and her all-time favorite is "Awesome!"  as a response to one's name or favorite movie.  Yes, as an ice breaker we all had to say what it had been.  I said, "La Cage Au Folle" and everyone but Richie looked at me.

The tour was reasonably depressing.  There are no interactive things; no old movie props for a photo opp, the only visit to a working set?  Bare floor, walls and no furniture.  They were setting up to turn a bank into a supermarket.  She showed us a pair of doors set into a building.  One door was much smaller than the other and short actors use it to appear taller.
Lindsay pointed out (several times) that what might look like brick was only paint on wood.  If movie sets ever run out of paint, they'll be out of business as well.

Most annoying?  When your tour guide pulls out an iPad and shows you pictures of What Used To Be.   Couldn't the studio be bothered to create some sort of small museum honoring their past rather than the odd plaque on various buildings?   The four of us paid a grand total of $192 for admittance and an additional $10 to park for a grand total of $202 of Not Worth It.     

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