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A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Set Of “Gilmore Girls”

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My obsession with Gilmore Girls has been a lifelong affair. I’ve been watching the show for as long as I can remember. I used to get off the bus from elementary and middle school, grab a snack, and wait patiently for 4 p.m. to roll around because that’s when Gilmore Girls came on ABC Family. I watched it over and over again in high school, and the day my mom gave me the entire series on DVD one Christmas was the best Christmas of my life. On my eighteenth birthday, I got my first (and only) tattoo in honor of the show — “in omnia paratus” written in script on my ribs. I took the DVDs to college with me and watched it whenever I was sad or lonely. Even now at twenty-two, I still fall asleep watching Gilmore Girls every night. Simply put, I’m a huge fan.

So when I found out I would be going to Los Angeles for a wedding, I decided to pay a visit to Stars Hollow, AKA Warner Bros. Studio, the place where Gilmore Girls and many other iconic TV shows and movies are filmed. I knew the major studio offered tours of their back lots and I also knew Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life had just wrapped filming for the revival out sometime this fall, so I figured what better time than now to take a tour. I made the reservation online, not knowing what to expect. Spoiler alert: it was fucking amazing.

At the start of the tour, the tour guide asks every person what they’re most excited to see. I wasn’t shy when admitting I was obsessed with Gilmore Girls, and luckily my tour guide was a huge fan as well so she made sure to point out all the good stuff. The Warner Bros. Tour is cool because they actually allow you to get out and walk around all the sets. I saw everything from the place where Rory got hit by a deer to Lorelai’s house to Chilton and everything in between.

In between hyperventilating from excitement, I managed to take a few crappy pictures. If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, you’ll be sure recognize at least a few of the places I’m about to show you. Allow me to bring you along into the magical world of “Gilmore Girls,” as I give you inside scoop on Stars Hollow, its quirky townspeople, and of course, those wacky Gilmore girls.

At the beginning of the tour, you’ll see Christopher’s parent’s house. It’s used in the scene where Lorelai shows up with a bottle of tequila after his father died. If the large Colonial-like estate looks familiar, that’s because it is also used as Hanna Martin’s house in Pretty Little Liars. In real life, the inside of the structure serves as a production office, so that’s why you see a car right outside.

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Here’s a very shitty picture of Kim’s Antiques. This house is special because in most cases, the houses and buildings are only used for exterior shots. The inside of Lorelai’s house, for example, is filmed on a set located inside of a soundstage. But scenes inside Mrs. Kim’s are filmed right inside the same house, so when we walked in I immediately saw that flight of stairs Lane storms up and down during those teenage years. Scenes inside Lane’s bedroom, however, are filmed on a set not inside the house, because that long flight of stairs actully leads to nothing. Mrs. Kim’s house is also Emily Fields’s house in Pretty Little Liars.

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When you’re standing on Mrs. Kim lawn facing away from the house, you see the town square, minus one very important detail: the gazebo. We’ll get to that later.

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Does this adorable street corner look familiar? There’s no sign outside, but it’s the famous Luke’s diner, where the coffee is supposedly ~amazing~ and you can’t talk on your cell phone inside. This rule has to be updated in the revival, right? The diner is used as a restaurant in other TV shows, but it’ll always be Luke’s to me. Right next door, you can see Taylor’s Olde Fashion Soda Shoppe.

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Here’s me standing awkwardly in front of the Gilmore house. It’s a lot smaller than you think, and the yard is even smaller. This house is also used in Pretty Little Liar’s as Spencer’s house, and Lorelai’s garage is Spencer’s barn. Like I said before, everything you see inside Lorelai’s house is filmed on a soundstage somewhere else. Regardless, it was still cool getting to walk through Lorelai’s house. The back of Lorelai’s house is actually the front of someone else’s house: Sookie’s.

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This is Sookie’s house. Sookie’s and Lorelai’s houses are the same houses back to back. You basically walk out the “back door” of Lorelai’s house and find that you also just walked out the front door of Sookie’s house. Funnily enough, the inside of Lorelai’s house is actually used in scenes where Lorelai and Sookie are inside Sookie’s house. So in the scenes where Lorelai is at Sookie’s house and they’re sitting in front of those big windows, they’re actually sitting on the inside of Lorelai’s house in front of those windows to the left of me in the picture above. Confusing, I know. TV is weird.

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This is Ms. Patty’s dance studio which doubles as the space for town meetings.

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Does this adorable street corner look familiar? There’s no sign outside, but it’s the famous Luke’s diner, where the coffee is supposedly ~amazing~ and you can’t talk on your cell phone inside. This rule has to be updated in the revival, right? The diner is used as a restaurant in other TV shows, but it’ll always be Luke’s to me. Right next door, you can see Taylor’s Olde Fashion Soda Shoppe.

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This is the gazebo. It’s off in a tucked away corner at the end of the tour because Warner Bros. took it out of the town square to film something or another and parked it here.

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I’m not kidding, they literally have a parking spot just for the gazebo.

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I couldn’t go inside the gazebo because it was marked off, but they let me stand on the steps and get this picture.

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And then there’s this.

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That’s me, standing next two classic Rory and Lorelai outfits. This isn’t part of the tour — my tour guide and I bonded over our love for Gilmore Girls and she had someone take me through a few secret doors into an office, where the two outfits are on secret display. You can tell how excited I was because I’m smiling like a big huge idiot.

All in all, the tour was incredible. Better than I expected, really. I didn’t get pictures of a lot of things (Chilton, Stars Hollow High, the town church) but they showed us nearly everything, even the smallest details. The tour guides know everything there is to know about each and every set, and if you ask a question they don’t know the answer to, they’ll find out. If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan (or a fan of Friends, Ellen, Batman, Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory, and other Warner Bros productions), this tour is a must. I highly recommend it if you live close to LA, or plan on visiting soon.

My love for Gilmore Girls has been reaffirmed and my excitement for the revival episodes has reached an all-time high. Gilmore girl for life, baby.

Images taken by Cristina Montemayor

Featured image via Youtube

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Cristina Montemayor

Cristina is a Grandex Writer and Content Manager. She was an intern for over two years before she graduated a semester early to write about college full time, which makes absolutely no sense. She regretfully considers herself a Carrie, but is first and foremost a Rory. She tends to draw strong reactions from people. They are occasionally positive. You can find her in a bar as you're bending down to tie your shoes, drinking Dos XX and drunk crying to Elton John. Email her: cristina@grandex.co (not .com).

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