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Santa Monica Camera Obscura

  • Things to do
  • Downtown Santa Monica
  • price 0 of 4
  • Recommended
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Time Out says

This old optical contraption is a historical and offbeat place to find a quiet escape from the crowded Santa Monica Pier. Located only a few blocks away inside of a senior center, the oceanfront attraction seems like a Santa Monica secret: trade your ID for a set of keys and climb a short staircase and you'll find yourself in a dark chamber with a ship's wheel at the center. Natural light squeezes through a pinhole in the ceiling and onto a large white plate, projecting a live image of the adjacent beachfront in the process. Though the technology behind this rudimentary camera-like room is thousands of years old, it still feels like magic.

Have an hour to kill along Ocean Avenue? Find out more about the Camera Obscura.


1450 Ocean Ave
Los Angeles
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 9am to 3pm; Sat 11am-4pm
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