Recently, my friend Jimmy and I watched Boystown, starring Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy.  The set I am planning next to explore appears to be that set. So just to give this set a name…. we call it Boystown.IMG_0936.jpgIMG_0935.jpg

After starring at it from from our church perch, Jimmy and I decided we can make it safely. After watching security due their rounds in that spot, we will run across the formal lawns and open plains and tuck ourselves in the front door.

Doing so we notice, as we catch our breath, how vast and complex this building is inside.

We are about to explore this entire monstrosity. Just inside the front door we find a ladder  built into the wall itself. Wherever it takes us is fine. That turns out to be a hidden room built behind different fronts this building has worn over the decades. Each one is built out off the previous one. As we diagnose this maze we find the ultimate hiding place.

This crawl space enters the fort at rooftop level

I can see my house from the roof top of this set, and most of the backlot. Directly below the overhang we are in is a dirt road and a lake. Tarzan’s  lake. This place would make a great fort. What kid doesn’t need a good fort anyway.

The problem is it is very scary running in open fields without cover and that is a big negative. We have to create an alternate approach if this is to be a regular stop. The closest sets to provide cover is German village, where the church stands. But there is a huge colonial  mansion on the opposite side that can provide more cover and a shorter distance to cover. Behind the mansion is a chain link fence that is climbable.

As  we sit in this latest playhouse, we plot alternate methods and approaches. This building has to be included in our fun, but as always, there is a risk. The negative of this becoming a fort is that it has only 1 way up to the section we are in. Meaning we could become trapped if all hell breaks lose.

But, to find the way up should be extremely difficult. This would not be approached by the MGM security under normal conditions. Fortunately, we find a alternate exits, two different 3 story stairways. So if security is coming up one stairway we can work are way to safety by crawling through these passages for the safe exit. Kind of like evacuating a plane that is disabled.

The Great Pyramids  have less mazes. It took an hour of climbing just to stumble in to this place, and it’s extremely dusty. Decades worth, of dust!

You won’t leave here clean. But who cares about that.

This place is too cool, so it’s now time to go explore that colonial mansion and see if approaching from another direction is feasible to access this set.

We need to remember how we got up here but now we need to test a closer approach than running through open fields. We decide to leave the backlot today by a different exit than the translation gates. By the way, fences are easy to climb ‘out of’ anywhere, because  three cross braces hold up every section of fence.

Next stop, that colonial mansion. We move slowly across a dirt road, and hide is some horse stables in between Boystown and  the mansion. We take it all in, no hurries. We pick each others brain on films from this set. Elizabeth Taylor, Lassie I recall. The regulars always, Combat and Twillight Zone. Across from the stable is a house called Vinegar tree house. Because of the trees growing in the front yard. The front and backsides of this building we  our now hiding in are entirely different. This happens all over the backlot.

At German village for example, you walk through a doorway and you go from France to China ….. where the Great Wall is upon you. You walk through a door and you can get lost in a different time and space.

The vinegar house easily accesses the colonial mansion. Sneaking through bushes just to be safe, we run in the front door this huge mansion. Drapes dangle on the windows, a table and fake wall greet you as you walk in. Once out to camera range, the building is a storage place lighting equipment with the MGM logos all over it.

I am falling in love wth this logo, and I don’t know what love its yet. I am strangely attracted to this Lion.IMG_0939.jpg

A stairway takes you upstairs for a safer and elevated view that looks towards Boystown and  towards the Bewitching Pool used in the Twilight Zone episode of the same name. When you want to appear rich, hang out here.IMG_0927.jpg

We take notes on the furniture…chairs and a table caught our eye. Possible furnishings for a fort we have decided we will build at Boystown. All is going very well. We decide to get while the going is good so we cross an area with fake palm trees laying parallel on the ground. You can stand on them to climb out. This was too easy and opens up a whole new frontier.

The street we entered the lot on today was Culver Blvd and the street we exited on is called Arizona. We covered a lot of distance today, have plans for our first fort, and no one knows we were here. Nice job if I do say so myself. This is how you become…………The Phantom

Image-1.jpgBuilding 716 and 121 is what we explored today. Notice adjacent pool 122

Next area needed to be explored is The Great Wall and China set,  and Grand Central Station.

Until then, Don’t touch that channel!




China street, Grand Central, and a spooky cemetery are next on my map tracking explorations. Oh yes, and shopping for furniture for Boystowns up and coming fort.

Stay tuned!

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