ExploreDaily Programs

Shows, Telescopes, Exhibits, and More

Whether you experience the universe in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, observe the sky through a telescope, explore the exhibits, listen to a talk about the Tesla Coil, or pose with the Hollywood Sign, each day there’s something to engage and inspire you at Griffith Observatory.

A boy looks through a telescope at the Griffith Observatory.

Daily Programs

While our most prominent daily programs are the shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, the Observatory offers many other stellar experiences while you visit. During the day, you can see the live image of the Sun on our coelostat (solar telescope) in the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky. Each evening, there are free public telescopes on the roof and lawn for you to observe the night sky. Leonard Nimoy narrates The Once and Future Griffith Observatory movie profiling the Observatory’s history, renovation, and current offerings. You can join our staff for talks about local noon, the Tesla Coil, and The Big Picture, or just walk through the exhibit galleries. Don’t forget to take in the views of Los Angeles, get a bite to eat in the Café at the End of the Universe, or buy a souvenir at the Stellar Emporium. That’s a busy day!

Public Telescope Observing

Free telescope viewing is available each evening the Observatory is open and skies are clear. Knowledgeable telescope demonstrators are available to guide visitors in observing.

Showtime: Observing usually begins around 7:00 p.m. Please be aware the demonstrators must cut off the line for each telescope at 9:30 p.m. or earlier to enable all viewing to be completed by 9:45 p.m. Hours for telescope operation are not the same as for the building (which closes at 10:00 p.m.).

Location: Zeiss telescope (on roof) and portable telescopes (on front lawn)

Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater

The Once and Future Griffith Observatory

The Once and Future Griffith Observatory provides an exciting and compelling introduction to the history and unique public offerings of the Observatory. This free, 24-minute film, entertainingly narrated by Leonard Nimoy, reveals how the vision of one man led to the creation of an architectural, cultural, and astronomical icon for southern California. The film offers an overview of the Observatory’s programs and exhibits and discusses how the building was renewed during the 2002-2006 renovation and expansion project. Hearing assist devices are available.

Showtimes: Every hour, on the hour (starting one hour after opening)

Location: Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater

Local Noon in the Gottlieb Transit Corridor

When the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky, directly overhead the Observatory’s meridian line, we celebrate local noon. A Museum Guide gives a free 15-minute presentation explaining how we use the Sun’s light in the Gottlieb Transit Corridor to tell us what day it is and where the Sun is located in its pathway across the sky.

Showtime: Local noon

Location: Gottlieb Transit Corridor (Meridian Arc)

Big picture

Big Picture Talks

Museum Guides use The Big Picture – the largest astronomical image in the world – to help explain the nature of the universe and our place in space.

Showtimes: Tuesday – Sunday: 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.

Location: Gunther Depths of Space exhibit gallery