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Coordinates: 34°08′11″N 118°21′22″W / 34.136518°N 118.356051°W / 34.136518; -118.356051

Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Uniglobe
Location Universal City, California, United States
Website Official site
Owner NBC Universal
Operating season Year-round
Rides 16 total

Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio and theme park in the unincorporated Universal City community of Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is the original Universal Studios theme park. Woody Woodpecker is the mascot for Universal Studios Hollywood and the rest of the Universal Studios Theme Parks. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in use. Its official marketing headline is "The Entertainment Capital of LA", though during the summer it is often advertised as "The Coolest Place in LA." It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios soundstages and sets. It is the first of many fully-fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks, along with Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Japan, and the upcoming Universal Studios Singapore, Universal Studios Dubailand, Universal Studios South Korea theme parks.


Universal Hollywood tour

Fountain at park entrance

From the beginning, Universal has offered tours of its studio. In the silent film days, Carl Laemmle's tour included a chance to buy fresh produce, since then-rural Universal City was still in part a working farm. This original tour was discontinued in the early 1930's due to the advent of sound films coming to Universal.

Shortly after Music Corporation of America took over Universal Pictures in 1962, accountants suggested a tour stop in the studio commissary would increase profits, and in 1964, the modern tour was established to include a series of dressing room walk-throughs, peeks at actual production, and later, staged events. This grew over the years into a full-blown theme park - the narrated tram (formerly "Glamortram") tour still runs through the studio's active backlot, but the staged events, stunt demonstrations, and high-tech rides overshadow the motion-picture production that once lured fans to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Outside the theme park, Universal City includes hotels Universal Hilton & Towers, the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, a multi-screen theater, and Universal CityWalk, which offers a collection of shops and restaurants, as well as the Gibson Amphitheatre, a concert venue.

Backlot fire

Smoke during the fire. The Courthouse facade is visible to the left of the smoke plume.

A three alarm fire broke out on the backlot of Universal Studios on June 1, 2008.[1] The Los Angeles County Fire Department had reported that Brownstone Street, New York Street, New England Street, the King Kong ride, some structures that make up Courthouse Square, the War of the Worlds movie[1] set, and the Video Vault had burned down (not to be confused with the actual Film Vault, The Video Vault contains the duplicates of the films). Aerial news footage later showed that the actual Courthouse facade survived the fire, although the west side of it was slightly charred. Over 516 firefighters[1] from various local fire departments, as well as two helicopters dropping water, had responded to the fire. Fourteen firefighters and three Los Angeles County sheriffs' deputies sustained minor injures. It was the seventh serious backlot fire to strike Universal since 1932. The fire was finally put out after 12 hours, since firefighters encountered low water pressure.

Destroyed were 40,000 to 50,000 archived digital video and film copies chronicling Universal's movie and TV classic shows, dating back to the 1920s, including the films Knocked Up and Atonement, the NBC series Law & Order, The Office, and Miami Vice, and CBS's I Love Lucy.[2][3][4]. Many audio master tapes from Universal Music have been destroyed as well.[5] Universal president Ron Meyer stated that nothing irreplaceable was lost, meaning everything will be rebuilt again, at a price of at least $50 million. Days after the fire, however, it was reported that the King Kong attraction would not be rebuilt and would eventually be replaced by a new attraction that had yet to be announced.[6] In August 2008, Universal changed its position and decided to rebuild the King Kong attraction, basing the new attraction on the 2005 film adaptation.


Statue at the entrance of the park.

The attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood are split into two areas on different levels, connected by a series of escalators called the Starway.

Upper lot

Lower lot

Park characters

View of the studio backlot at Universal Studios Hollywood. The studio tour takes visitors through the backlot.

Universal Studios has a number of costumed characters roaming the park grounds, representing many different genres. Some are portrayals of Hollywood icons, like the Marx Brothers, Marilyn Monroe, and Lucille Ball. Others are based on Universal's vast media library, such as:

To augment its collection, Universal Studios Hollywood has licensed many other popular characters, like those from Shrek, and Nickelodeon shows SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. Most recently, as promotion for their movie and their new attraction, the Simpsons can now be seen in the park. The Marvel superheroes used to be walking around, but disappeared ever since Marvel's contract with Universal expired.

Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Land Before Time characters, and Chipmunk characters have starred in their own former live shows, but never walked around before.

Former attractions

Upper lot

  • Screen Test Theatre replaced by Star Trek Adventure (1984 - 1994), replaced by The Flintstones Show (1994 - 1997), replaced by Totally Nickelodeon (1997 - 2000), replaced by Rugrats Magic Adventure (2000 - 2001), replaced by Shrek 4-D
  • The War Lord Tower (1965 - 2001), replaced by Nickelodeon Blast Zone (2001 - 2008), replaced by The Adventures of Curious George
  • Rockslide (1974-1978) (part of the Studio Tour), replaced by Battle of Galactica (1979 - 1992) (part of the Studio Tour), replaced by Back to the Future: The Ride (June 4, 1993 - September 3, 2007), replaced by The Simpsons Ride
  • Castle Dracula Live Show (1980 - 1983), replaced by The Adventures of Conan: A Sword and Sorcery Spectacular (1983 - 1992), replaced by Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue (1992 - 1999), replaced by Spider-Man Rocks (2002 - 2004), replaced by Fear Factor Live (January 2005 - August 14, 2008), replaced by Creature from the Black Lagoon- The Musical (2009), to be replaced by another attraction.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle Live (1992 - 1996), The Land Before Time show (1997 - 1998), replaced by Coke Soak
  • Fievel's Playland (1990 - 1997) and An American Tail (1990 - 1995), both replaced by T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
  • Walk-through exhibits of Chicken Run, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Van Helsing, and The Mummy Returns: Chamber of Doom, replaced by Universal's House of Horrors
  • Wild Wild West Stunt Show (1980s - 2002)
  • The Land of a Thousand Faces (1975-1980) (outside the Castle Theater (housed Fear Factor LIVE)
  • King Kong Encounter (1986 - 2008) (part of the Studio Tour), Tram tours encountered King Kong on the streets of New York. The exhibit was burnt down due to the fire on June 1, 2008. It will be replaced by King Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World.
  • Animal Actors School Stage (1970?-2001) Replaced by Animal Planet Live (2001-2006) Replaced by Universal's Animal Actors.
  • The A-Team Live Stunt Show (1984 -1987), replaced by Miami Vice Action Spectacular (Early 1987-January 16, 1995) & Spectrablast (June 26-September 5, 1994), replaced by Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular

Lower lot

  • The World of CineMagic (June 1991 - July 2001) replaced by Special Effects Stages (2002 - 2010) to be replaced by Transformers
  • E.T. Adventure (June 12, 1991 - March 14, 2003) replaced by Revenge of the Mummy
  • Lucy - A Tribute (June 1991 - January 2008) replaced by The NBC Universal Experience
  • Backdraft (1992 - 2010), to be replaced by Transformers


Upper lot

View of the lower lot.
  • Doc Brown's Fried Chicken (formerly for Back to the Future: The Ride)
  • Cyber Grill (T2 3-D: Battle Across Time)
  • Shrek Snacks (Shrek 4-D)
  • Hollywood Cantina
  • Hollywood Grill
  • Flintstones Drive-In
  • Mel's Diner
  • Krusty Burger (The Simpsons Ride)

Lower lot


Universal Studios Store.

Upper lot

Lower lot

  • Tomb Treasures (Revenge of the Mummy)
  • Jurassic Outfitters (Jurassic Park: The Ride)

Former shops

Upper Lot

  • Time Depot (Back to the Future: The Ride) closed in 2004, Now Kwik-E-Mart (The Simpsons Ride)

Lower lot

  • E.T.'s Toy Closet (E.T. Adventure) closed in 2003 and are now lockers for Revenge of the Mummy

Future attractions

  • King Kong: 360 3-D (part of the Studio Tour), opening Summer 2010. Will Replace King Kong Encounter.


  • Early Universal City‎ - by Robert S. Birchard Universal City - Oak Crest Ranch welcomes visitors to the Universal ranch

External links

34°08′31″N 118°21′14″W / 34.142°N 118.354°W / 34.142; -118.354

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