As seen in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and ROCKETEER and too many movies to list — the fabulous observatory designed by the architectural firm of John C. Austin and Frederic M. Ashley — completed 1935:







Physicist Leon Hall explaining the Cosmochron Clock of the Ages, 1938:

Sculpting the Moon’s surface, 1939:

The Observatory by night, 1940:


  1. Like many an Angeleno, this place is a source of awe and pride. And you’re so right about the numerous times the observatory has been used in film. This would be one of my favorites, from Devil in a Blue Dress:

  2. Pingback: Roger Hayward’s Moon (Griffith Observatory) « Observatories and Instruments

  3. Wonderful pictures.Hugely impressive building of great dignity.Hard to beat the black and white medium for this masterpiece.If I ever visit America I must see this.

  4. Danielle

    Thank you so much for this post! I know it is from last year, but I’ve just stumbled upon it. I wonder if you have any more information you could share about the photo of Leon Hall and the Clock of the Ages? Who is the woman, for instance, and was this an early exhibit at the Observatory?

    • Hello Danielle, I don’t know who the woman is but Leon Hall was a physicist who worked at the observatory and developed and installed the exhibits—including the fabulous Clock of Ages. This early exhibit included a narration of evolution which fulfilled a request made by Colonel Griffith (the guy who willed the park to the city). Thanks for stopping by!

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