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Where To Get Eclipse Glasses In Los Angeles
In case you haven't heard, 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.
"I've been asked this a million times today and I don't know of any place that still has them," the woman who answered the phone at the Santa Monica store told LAist. An employee at Best Buy, another AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force-approved retailer (see their full list here), told LAist the chain was fully sold out across Los Angeles. Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us (two other approved retailers) also appear to be sold out. Even Warby Parker was giving them out, but they too were deluged ("We made tens of thousands of glasses to distribute and almost all of them have been picked up already," according to a pre-recorded voice message that plays when you call any L.A. Warby Parker store).
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.
Update: As of Saturday morning, the Stellar Emporium is SOLD OUT of glasses for the weekend, but they will have more on sale Monday morning. Expect long lines and plenty of competition for a pair. They will have special eclipse hours on Monday and open at 8 a.m.
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.
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:
Know anywhere else in L.A. stocking eclipse glasses? Tell us in the comments.