Is It Any Good?

An actual Observatory that’s a movie star in its own right.

Remember what I said about the Getty Center having the most spectacular view in Los Angeles?  Well, I almost forgot about Griffith Observatory.

Going by Wikipedia, Griffith Observatory was built in 1933, it sits on land donated to the City of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith (yes, that’s his name) on December 16, 1896. It was built as a part of the Works Progress Administration and retains its Depression-era art deco influence . It closed in 2002 to undergo renovations but reopened in 2006, and has been open ever since.

As a Science Museum it’s okay. I must admit I haven’t seen the place since the renovations, which look to be extensive. The real star of the show, is the view, and of course the Observatory itself, which has been a featured location in a number of Hollywood movies, including:

The Phantom Empire (1935) (Hmm, starring Gene Autry)
The Terminator (1984)
Dragnet (1987)
The Rocketeer (1991)
The End of Violence (1997)
Bowfinger (1999)
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Transformers (2007)
Yes Man (2008)
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The Griffith Observatory Website come with its own set of Safety Tips. How convenient.

Please be aware that Griffith Park inbound gates close each evening at 10:00 p.m. If you are being picked up by a cab or friend, please make sure they are in the park before 10:00 p.m.

Also: The 2012 Greek Theatre season runs from April-October. Heavy traffic on concert nights may affect how quickly you are able to reach the Observatory. A northbound lane on Vermont Avenue is always open for Observatory traffic to bypass those trying to park at the Greek.

Please be aware that most mobile phones seem to have difficulty getting a clear signal while in and around the Observatory. This appears to be more of an issue for voice calls than for data reception.


PARKING: The word was that weird parking rules that were at the Getty apparently found a home here. Apparently, that’s not the case. Again according to the Griffith Observatory Website:

Those wishing to visit Griffith Observatory may drive up to the Observatory and park in the parking lot or on the adjacent roads. No shuttles are required. Admission to the Observatory building and grounds is FREE! Advance reservations are not needed to visit.


Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Tel: (213) 473-0800

Open Wednesday-Friday 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m.
Open Saturday-Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays