Sony Studio Tour – 2

So remember how I said the lot used to be MGM?

MGM manhole cover

There’s not a lot of stuff that still says MGM, so it’s always cool when you can find something (kinda like trying to find “MGM Studios” merchandise at Disney Hollywood Studio (or whatever they’re going to change the name to in a few years) in Florida).

On the Lot

That Loews marquee up there is a call back to when Loews was a majority owner of MGM (eliminated when United States v. Paramount Pictures Inc determined that movie studios couldn’t be in charge of production, distribution and exhibition).

Happy madison building

This is the Judy Garland building. It currently is home to Adam Sandler’s production company, “Happy Madison.” I’m just going to let you think about that for a while.

Happy Madison golf cart

Despite a few misfires, Sandler is a bit of a golden boy on the lot. His films don’t cost much and almost always turn a profit. I guess that explains the custom golf carts.

First Aid

I know you’re excited to be this close to the creative nexus that gave us both “Jack and Jill” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we can go to first aid.

Capra Building

Now I should note that there were areas of the tour where photography wasn’t permitted. I already mentioned the Thalberg building, but we also went to a foley stage that was pretty cool. When you first enter, it feels like walking into a thrift store after a tornado rolled through, but you see how everything has a very specific auditory use.


And of course you get to see some backlot stuff if that’s your thing.

Black Beauty and Walt's Aztek

But then we came across some prop cars and I got super stoked. On the left is Black Beauty from 2011’s not terrible but ultimately kinda forgettable “Green Hornet” movie. On the right is Walter White’s awesome Aztek from Breaking Bad (I know, I didn’t recognize it with an unbroken windshield either!). Taco had mentioned that there was some Breaking Bad stuff coming up, but he didn’t specify what.

Jesse's Car

Wait, Jesse’s piece of shit ’84 Tercel is here too? I didn’t think it could get cooler.

Vamanos Pest Control

Ha! A Vamanos Pest truck! That’s hysterical. The funny thing is that there was only like one other dude who was interested in this stuff. I guess no one in the group watched the show (at this moment in time, we were about a month away from the premiere date of the final 8 episodes).

The Winnebage

If they thought I was weird getting excited about those cars, I can’t imagine what they thought when they saw me freak the hell out over the Winnebago. I’m not kidding about this. Nobody else even took a picture of it. Maybe they were all just really bummed out because they thought this was the tour with the couch from Central Perk.

Outside the Jeopardy building

So one of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the set of Jeopardy.

Outside Jeopardy

I’m not generally a game show kind of person, but it’s freaking Jeopardy. Unfortunately, photography anywhere in the Jeopardy building was prohibited. I believe it has to do with the fact that they don’t want the general public to know that Trebek is a robot.

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