This observatory came about because of a dream of one man, Griffith J. Griffith. Yes, his first and last names were the same. He made his fortune in silver mines and real estate in the late 1800's. He purchased this hilltop land for his home and later decided to donate over 3,000 acres (1,214+ hectares) of it to the city of Los Angeles to build a public park. Later, he donated $100,000 to the city to build an observatory in 1912, but due to many delays, it wasn't completed until 1930 and unfortunately, Griffith never got to see his dream fulfilled when he passed away in 1919.
His and his wife, Susan's, contribution to the observatory, gave name to this theater.
A 20-minute film shown daily called "The Once and Future Griffith Observatory" narrated by Mr. Nimoy should not missed if you ever happened to visit.
During my visit, I swear everyone who passed by wanted a picture with him.
If I recall correctly, the reason for his pose states that merely placing a finger inches away from your eyes, you would have covered thousands if not millions of stars in the night sky.
Many movies have been filmed on this land, but the classic 1955 movie "Rebel Without a Cause" starring James Dean was the first one to portray the observatory and contribute positively to the observatory's international reputation.
Have you seen a movie that was filmed here? If you are not sure, check out this list.