YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Magic of a Different Kind : Center near Six Flags amusement park offers tamer thrills, from a studio tour to a look at making pizza dough.

August 18, 1995|REBECCA HOWARD | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Rebecca Howard writes regularly for The Times

VALENCIA — The Valencia Industrial Center near Six Flags Magic Mountain may not offer the thrills of a roller coaster, but you can observe some unusual businesses in action--producing everything from pizza dough to episodes of "Melrose Place."

Not all businesses in the park are open to visitors, but some offer tours of their sites.

To get to the industrial center, exit the Golden State Freeway at McBean Parkway and travel east and then north a few miles to Newhall Ranch Road; then make a left. The road bears left into one of the industrial center's main streets, Avenue Scott. Travel a few blocks to Avenue Stanford; make a left, and after passing a few buildings, you'll reach Lindsey Studios on the right side of the street.

11 a.m.: The exterior gives no clue that the building contains a jail cell, police station, courtroom, apartment, morgue and more.

Many years ago, John Warren, president of Warren Entertainment, came up with the idea of a facility where certain permanent sets could be used by television and movie companies--many of which shoot the bulk of their shows elsewhere. Today, Lindsey Studios, which opened in 1988, and nearby Stewart Studios, which opened in August, 1994, serve this purpose. (Both studios are part of the Warren Entertainment group.)

Such shows and movies as "Beverly Hills Cop III," "Melrose Place," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Tales From the Crypt," "Unsolved Mysteries," "America's Most Wanted" and "Lois & Clark" have filmed on various sets at the two studios.

Warren said certain settings, such as courtrooms, are always needed. Sets are changed and redecorated to suit the individual production. For example, an office can go from a more antique look to something high-tech, or a courtroom can become a ballroom. Sets not in use can easily be broken down and stored.

Warren said visitors can schedule tours during filming or not, but there are fewer restrictions when the sets are not in use, and you can really examine them, as guides talk about various celebrities who have worked there. "It's almost like an adult Disneyland," Warren said.

Lindsey Studios is at 25241 Ave. Stanford. Hours for tours vary. Call (805) 257-9292.

Noon: Drive from Avenue Stanford north to Rye Canyon Road, make a right, then a left onto Avenue Crocker and drive north a few blocks. Ever wonder where your pizza crust comes from? Your questions can be answered at Vincenzo's Original, where the dough is cranked out at the rate of 2,000 balls (each makes a crust) per hour, to be frozen and shipped to Vincenzo's restaurants, throughout the Santa Clarita and Simi valleys.

Call ahead to arrange a visit to the plant, where you will see a mixer churning about 350 pounds of dough at a time. The dough is then shaped, encased in clear plastic and frozen. Co-owner John Hudock said making all the dough for Vincenzo's crusts at one location helps eliminate the need for extra space and labor at the restaurants, plus it keeps the crusts consistent in texture, size and taste.

Vincenzo's Original is located at 28130 Ave. Crocker. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Call (805) 295-5639.

12:30 p.m.: About half a block north of the Vincenzo's facility is a cozy eatery called RJ's Cafe. Inside, you will find snacks, sandwiches and grill items at a counter, or you can sit in the restaurant's country-decorated dining room and order from the menu. Sandwiches and burgers are $2.25 to $4.75. Luncheon plates, including side items and drinks, are $4 to $5.25.

RJ's Cafe is at 28150 Ave. Crocker. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. weekdays. Call (805) 257-7676.

1 p.m.: From the cafe, you can either walk or drive a short distance farther north on Avenue Crocker to Aldik Artificial Flower Co. A store next to the main corporation office gives the public a chance to browse through an array of faux flora. You'll find everything here from artificial gourds on vines to fake cedar and palm trees to a vast array of silk flowers in a rainbow of hues.

The Aldik Artificial Flower Co. store is at 28340 Ave. Crocker. Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Call (805) 295-0170.

1:30 p.m.: For the next half-hour, depending on your interests, you could check out Gymnastics Unlimited, which offers gymnastics and tumbling instruction for children and teen-agers. An introductory lesson is free, and the company hosts birthday parties. Gymnastics Unlimited is at 25427 Rye Canyon Road. Call (805) 257-2496.

Builder's Showcase Interiors, at 25612 W. Ave. Stanford, is a good place to check out home decorating possibilities, including a wide selection of floor coverings. Call (805) 257-2838 to schedule a visit.

Los Angeles Times Articles