Here Are the Stars in Los Angeles
Our Private Tour Guests Spend Time with the Stars
What does a 4.5 ton, 200″ long, Zeiss telescope with a 12″ lens and James Dean have in common? They are both to be found at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Since 1935 this wonderful feature of the Los Angeles park system has been open and free to the public according to the wishes of Col. Griffith Griffith who provided the more than 4,000 acres for Griffith Park (you probably guessed that) and also bequeathed the funds to build the observatory and purchase the two telescopes (there is also a 9″ Zeiss refracting telescope mounted atop the larger scope). Even without the draw of Hollywood and its stars (like James Dean) this museum of astronomy and cosmology has been one of the most popular of public astronomy facilities in the world. What this museum has going for it in terms of public relations and advertising is its iconic beauty (Russell Porter’s original sketches and John Austin’s final design) and its proximity to Hollywood and the filmed entertainment industry. Movie and television production companies have been up on this promontory since it opened capturing the views and the location in countless films and shows. Most notably, in 1955, Rebel Without a Cause with its young star, James Dean. This classic film about teenage angst remains beloved among film lovers and historians and is always recalled when guests with us on a private tour of Los Angeles come up to the observatory and see James Dean’s bust on a plinth amidst sculptures of historic figures associated with science and astronomy. A star beneath the stars. Make sure you tell us you want to visit the Griffith Observatory when you start your custom tour of Los Angeles and we will show you around.