At 4:45 AM on June 1st, 2008, the famous and historic Courthouse Square burnt down in the Universal Studios fire. The back lot also lost New York Street, New England Street, the set of Ghost Whisperer, the King Kong attraction, and the film vault.
After completing the largest set construction project in Hollywood history, Courthouse Square reopened to the public. Since the 1940s, over a thousand television shows and movies have been filmed at Courthouse Square. Some of the more famous ones include: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Nutty Professor (1996), Gremlins, Back To The Future, Bye Bye Birdie and CBS' Friday night hit, Ghost Whisperer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Press was invited to a christening to celebrate the reopening of Courthouse Square 10AM on June 18th, and the USC marching band played as the first tram came through, marking studio history. Guests on the tram enjoyed quite a show as famous movie characters (such as the professor from Back to the Future and the Nutty Professor) danced to the music and press walked around to see the famous Courthouse Square. It looked absolutely beautiful.
Particularly impressive were the restored Ghost Whisperer sets. They looked very similar to the originals. (They started filming Ghost Whisperer there in 2005). It was a nice way to celebrate the opening.
Guests can now take a tram from Universal Studios to visit the back lot in order to see Courthouse Square. The trams are now equipped with HD TVs and are dubbed as “mobile movie theaters.” The rest of the back lot, including the King Kong attraction, will open next spring. So, they are still adding to the back lot.
The Courthouse Square is very famous and gives guests a chance to be on a real movie set. If you live in the LA area, pay a visit to the new and improved back lot. It’s been brought back to life.
Photo credits: Universal/NBC