You're Not Invited to L.A.'s Observatory for the Eclipse, but Some VIPs Are

Were you looking forward to heading up to the taxpayer-owned Griffith Observatory this weekend to catch an eyeful of the total lunar eclipse?

You're out of luck. As the foreigner who works at your favorite take-out joint might say, No observatory for you!

What's even sadder about this story is that the so-called VIPs who are being allowed to enjoy this historic event early Saturday are ... journalists. Yeah, those people who are homeless one day, VIPs the next. Must feel low to be elbowed out by those cretins.

Bonnie Winings, a spokeswoman for the Griffith Park institution, told us that because the eclipse happens so long after the normal Friday closing time of 10 p.m., it wouldn't be practical to stay open for an eclipse all-nighter.

"This one begins several hours after the park and observatory are closed," she said. 

In 2012 the observatory held an "End of the World" party, mocking prediction of a Dec. 21 existential catastrophe, until midnight or so. But Winings said that kind of event, often sponsored and paid for by a nonprofit group, are rare.

If an eclipse happens earlier in the night, the Observatory sometimes stays open a little later than 10, she said.

In any case, journalists are invited to view the event, which NASA says happens at 3:16 a.m. Saturday. 

If you drive up to the observatory overnight, you'll be hit with tickets between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., officials say. But you can watch the eclipse online starting at 2 a.m. at the observatory's website.

Or you can always just go outside and crane your neck. In a statement, the observatory says:

Unless it is cloudy, the lunar eclipse will be visible throughout Los Angeles and the surrounding region; people need only go outside and look up to view it.

You're Not Invited to L.A.'s Observatory for the Eclipse, but Some VIPs Are

Complicated, we know. No smartphones are necessary for this either, kids.

With four minutes of action, NASA calls this the "the shortest lunar eclipse of the century," which makes it, like, the Mark Wahlberg of eclipses.

Wining says another total lunar eclipse will happen Sept. 27, and it will happen within business hours! That means you're all VIPs. You can go. 

"It's likely we’ll have a large public attendance," she said.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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