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Southern California Close-Ups: San Fernando Valley

Yes, it's suburbia. Yes, it's inland from the beach. Still, the San Fernando Valley has attractions that date from the 18th century (Mission San Fernando) to the latest attraction at Universal Studios.

March 30, 2012|By Christopher Reynolds | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Don't overlook the tour at Warner Bros. studios (3400 Riverside Drive, Burbank; vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com). It has no rides, no 3-D presentations, no spitting dinosaurs. What it does offer is a grown-up look at how TV shows and movies get made, priced recently at $49 for adults, closed to children younger than 8, and lasting about 2 1/2 hours. Led by a guide, you typically travel on foot and by golf cart in a group of 12. You browse the fixtures and paintings in the prop shop, perhaps glimpse rooms where backdrops are painted or orchestral scores are recorded, stand in the square where "76 Trombones" was shot for "The Music Man," step into the courthouse where the last episode of "Seinfeld" took place, and sit on the couch at Central Perk, where the "Friends" coffee shop is preserved. If it's working Hollywood you want to see, this is a better bet than Universal. You wind up at the Warner Bros. Museum, where the bottom floor covers 80-odd years of movies and TV and the top floor covers Harry Potter. Along the way, you're bound to learn a thing or two about such Warner heroes as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, who concluded many a cartoon by saying -- well, you know.

chris.reynolds@latimes.com

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