Where To Find Eclipse Glasses In Los Angeles

Monday will bring a historic, total eclipse of the sun—the first total eclipse to cross the lower 48 U.S. states in 38 years. Here in L.A., we won’t quite reach totality (more like 70%) but it will still be extremely dangerous for your eyes to look directly at the sun.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun, according to our friends at NASA, is through special-purpose solar filters like “eclipse glasses.” However, as you would imagine, said glasses have become quite the hot commodity as eclipse mania descends.

The glasses were formerly available at REI stores, but according to a Santa Monica REI store employee, that location is sold out—as are the rest of the AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force-approved REI stores in the city.

To make matters worse, experts have been warning of the potential for counterfeit glasses, which could damage viewers’ eyes. So where can the real deal still be procured?

Try your local library. A selection of both city and county libraries across the L.A. area will be having eclipse viewing events on Monday, with free glasses stocked on a first-come, first-serve basis. Important note: the glasses will only be available for participants, during the actual events. The full list of participating county libraries can be found here, and participating city libraries here.

7-Eleven is another one of the handful of retailers listed on the Task Force’s site. We haven’t had much luck finding anything in stock by calling around, but given the sheer number of 7-Eleven locations in Los Angeles, giving your neighborhood outpost a call is probably worth a shot. Most eclipse viewers are priced at $2 to $3.

Your nearest 7-Eleven store can be found here.

The Stellar Emporium Gift Shop At The Griffith Observatory
The Stellar Emporium gift shop at the Griffith Observatory will be selling a limited number of eclipse glasses (priced at $5) every day until the big event. There was already a line of people waiting outside when the store opened at noon on Thursday, so we recommend getting there early if you want to snag a pair.

The Stellar Emporium is located at 2800 E Observatory Road in Griffith Park. They open at noon on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Warby Parker
As mentioned above, Warby Parker was giving out free glasses—all of which have now been distributed from their Los Angeles locations. However, an employee at the Warby Parker Green Room location in West Hollywood told LAist that there was a chance their L.A. locations might get a few more in over the weekend… So, fingers crossed, it might be worth dropping by your local Warby Parker store on Saturday or Sunday (they say they won’t be giving out store-specific availability information over the phone). There are four Warby Parker stores in Los Angeles: one in Venice, one in the Arts District, one in West Hollywood, and one at the Standard Hollywood (also technically West Hollywood).

Make Your Own Pinhole Projector
Yes, you can prevent eclipse-blindness with a cereal box (and a few other basic supplies). Here’s a NASA tutorial on how to make your own pinhole projector for safe viewing:

Places In Los Angeles To Catch The 'Great American Eclipse'

The “Great American Eclipse” is coming on August 21– the first total eclipse to cross the lower 48 U.S. states in 38 years! What’s a total eclipse you ask? It’s where the moon completely blocks the sun and casts a shadow over the land.

Although Los Angeles lands outside of the total eclipse’s prime zone, Angelenos will still be able to experience an eclipse that takes up just under 70% of the sun’s diameter.

According to E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory, the moon will start overlapping the sun at around 9:05 a.m. The max overlap will be around 10:20 a.m.  The effect will be done around 11:45 a.m.

If you plan on catching the eclipse, NASA says you will require additional equipment, which includes solar eclipse glasses (not the same as sunglasses), telescopes with solar filters, and pinhole cameras, among other items.

You can definitely catch the “Great American Eclipse” from the comforts of your backyard. If you want to be among other spectators, there are plenty of spots in Los Angeles that will be holding viewings. The National Park Service (NPS) will be hosting some of these events, and will have a limited supply of solar glasses and “Junior Ranger eclipse books” at each spot. All the following events are free unless noted otherwise.


Griffith Observatory (Photo by Al Pavangkanan via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Griffith Observatory

The Observatory will have a public viewing on its front lawn from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free of admission. According to organizers, personal telescopes won’t be allowed at the event.

The Griffith Observatory is at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles.

L.A. State Historic Park (Photo by Annie Lesser/LAist)

L.A. State Historic Park (NPS Event)

Visit this 32-acre parcel of sprawling greens and either join the event directly at the park at 9:30 a.m., or you can meet up with NPS rangers at 8:30 a.m. at the Gateway to Nature Center in El Pueblo. From there, you can hike to the park to catch the eclipse.

L.A. State Historic Park is at 1245 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles. Gateway to Nature is at 130 Paseo de La Plaza, Los Angeles.

King Gillette Ranch (Photo courtesy of National Park Service)

King Gillette Ranch (NPS Event)

This 588-acre space features a Spanish Colonial Revival style mansion, a large constructed pond, and an abundance of sweeping meadows. According to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, “it offers a rare unspoiled view of California’s rich archeological, cultural, and historic resources, including a Chumash settlement.”

The NPS says that a ranger will be there at the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. to speak on the total eclipse. Afterward, guests will be invited to view the partial eclipse from the visitor center grounds.

King Gillette Ranch is located at 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.

Rancho Sierra Vista (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa (NPS Event)

At 9:30 a.m., visitors can gather at the park’s Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, where there’ll be children’s activities and presentations of Native American sky stories. You’ll also get to see the eclipse, of course.

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa is located at the cross street of Via Goleta and Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks.

The Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson. (Photo by Josh Patterson via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Mount Wilson Observatory

Thomas Meneghini, executive director at Mount Wilson Observatory, tells LAist that the site doesn’t have official plans just yet. Meneghini says that he’s thinking about pointing a 100 mm solar telescope at the sun, and having the image projected in the auditorium that seats about 250 people. If you’re interested, you can follow the observatory on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay up-to-date with developments.

To get to Mount Wilson Observatory: from the 210 take Highway 2 northbound for 14 miles, turn right on Red Box Road. Follow it 5 miles to the top.

Montebello Library (Via County of Los Angeles Public Library/Facebook)

L.A. Libraries

Many city and county libraries will host eclipse viewings. Within the Los Angeles Public Library system, branches in Little Tokyo, Pacoima, Woodland Hills, and South L.A., among others, will be hosting events. County libraries joining in on the party include branches in San Gabriel, Rosemead, and Norwalk. Many of the libraries will be projecting NASA’s live-stream of the event, and some offer eclipse viewing glasses and will have a solar telescope on hand. Contact the library for information for what, specifically, will be happening.

Here’s a list of LAPL libraries hosting viewing parts, and a list of county libraries hosting viewing parties. All these events are free of charge.