The Backlot

As many fans know, BW exteriors were shot at the Warner Brothers Ranch (in those days, it was the
Columbia Ranch) in Burbank.

I'm acquainted with someone who works at Warner Brothers and he told me that Warners
no longer wants to keep the Ranch, as they have enough backlot at the main studios. He
says they don't plan to sell it to another studio, but rather tear it down and sell the property
itself. This is earmarked for sometime in the next three years.

This is sad to me, as this small, but legendary lot goes back to the 1930's. The New
York City section (home to McMann and Tate) and the Western sets are long gone. So
is the New Orleans lot. But the park, "Bewitched", "Jeannie" and other suburban
facades still stand. I was lucky enough to visit this lot several times. And before 9/11 it
was extremely easy to obtain a "scouting pass" to see it. Security has since been

Definitely sad news.


Sad to hear even though I'd probably never get out there to see the Ranch! Another bit of entertainment history which will be lost.

The N.Y. City section that was home to McMann and Tate reminds me of something. There were times when Darrin arrived at his office and I could have sworn I saw mountains in the background. I used to wonder about that when I was a kid. haha

It wasn't until years later that I realized that "New York City" was actually located somewhere in southern California. Manhattan doesn't have visible mountains behind those skyscrapers. (I know, I've been there)


How true - and astute of you, PJ. Just this afternoon, I was driving home from Arizona to the West San Fernando
Valley. As I drove on the 134 freeway - having visited my parents in Prescott, AZ - I passed the Hollywood Way
exit - between Toluca Lake and Burbank - and I thought of that small Warner Brothers Ranch...and all the memories
it holds.

The "Kravitz"/"Partridge Family" façade has been totally redesigned to the point of not being recognizable. The
church opposite the "Bewitched" façade no longer exits. But so many other facades - including "Jeannie",
"Bewitched", "Gidget"" and the park. still stand.


NOOOOOO!!! This makes me very sad! It was a dream of mine to (somehow) visit and see the Bewitched and Jeannie houses and just stroll down the street.

I wonder if the idea of giving tours ever crossed anybody's mind?


Skipper, do you live in L.A.? If you don't, and you can afford a few days of a visit, I can tell you two things:

For many years, the Official Bewitched Fan Club from Harpies Bizarre would come to L.A. and their president arranged
an annual afternoon at the ranch. They would eat lunch in the park (where Sam and Tabitha often visited) and stroll
the "streets." I don't know if they still do this, but you can certainly email someone at Harpies Bizarre (a great
site, btw).

The other thing is it might be easier now to get onto the lot. Here's why:

When they tore down the New York section, they build a few soundstages, as well as Warner Brothers offices. When
I visited it wasn't unusual to see professionally attired people (of all ages) eating their lunches in the park! Why?
Because it IS a park, with grass, trees, the famous fountain and the swimming pool!

What I did pre 9/11/01, was call Warner's and tell them I was an indie filmmaker (I actually was) and wanted a
"scouting pass." They would say "sure" (hoping I would rent shooting time at the lot), and my name would be
left with the security guard. When I arrived, they gave me a two hour pass. I had to keep it taped to my shirt, and
I could roam the streets. Nobody bugged me, and everyone was very nice.

To see this lot for the first time is quite a thrill. As you would guess, everything is much smaller than it appears on
TV. Even the BW facade isn't that large. And most - including BW - are indeed facades. In other words, you open
the front door and there's nothing there but dirt and beams. When I visited, the BW facade had a ladder inside, so
technicians could climb up to the "upstairs" windows. Very fascinating. The "Jeannie" facade is actually an office
for maintenance (tools, and such, for the gardeners, etc.).

The first time I went (in 1990) the feeling I got was similar to revisiting your childhood street - I felt as if I'd already
been there.


Thank you very much for your very informative reply, Gbennett!

Unfortunately, I live very far away from L.A. About a forty-five minute drive from New York State in Ontario, Canada. One of these days I will get there but have no immediate plans to.

I am familiar with Harpies Bizarre. If I plan a trip within the next three years, I will send them an email.

Thanks again!


You're very welcome! And try calling Warner's from New York, so you can find out if you can obtain a "scouting
pass." If you sound SANE and professional, and say you're a low-budget filmmaker, they may give it to you.
Then you'd have more of an incentive to travel out here. Trust me, it's a real thrill seeing that street.

Btw, I was never a "Jeannie" fan (I can never sit through one episode, but I respect the fans). I love that
facade because it was Mr. Wilson's house on "Dennis the Menace." I got a kick out of remembering little
Jay North running over the very lawn I was standing on, yelling, "Helllllloooooooooooooo Mr. Wilson!",
followed by, "Great Scott, he's back." Lol!