Santa Monica, California: Camera Obscura - Giant Pinhole Camera

Coast view projected onto the innards of the primitive giant camera.

Senior Recreation Center

1450 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA
Ocean Avenue and Broadway. Upstairs. Ask at the desk for the key to get inside.
M-F 9-3, Sa 11-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Free with ID
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Camera Obscura - Giant Pinhole Camera

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Camera Obscura.

Camera Obscura - Giant Pinhole Camera

An update: this is no longer a senior center but an art/culture center. Still run by the City of Santa Monica. Offers classes and events around arts/crafts/movement/optics themes.

[Santa Monica Cultural Affairs, 08/03/2015]

Camera Obscura.

Camera Obscura - Giant Pinhole Camera

The Camera Obscura is inside the senior recreation center. It's upstairs but you have to get the key first from the desk.

Senior aerobics were going on while we were there. We looked lost and an employee helped us find it. Trust me, it was worth it.

[Mike, 06/22/2010]

Like its counterpart in San Francisco, the Camera Obscura is a room-sized example of early photography technology, capturing a Pacific Ocean image though a pinhole.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Route 66: End of the TrailRoute 66: End of the Trail, Santa Monica, CA - < 1 mi.
Original Hot Dog StickOriginal Hot Dog Stick, Santa Monica, CA - < 1 mi.
Mushroom Cloud Made of ChainsMushroom Cloud Made of Chains, Santa Monica, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Neon Ovaries with Boxing Gloves, West Hollywood, CA - 9 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Pickled Pioneer, Menlo, Washington (Feb 22-28, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now