Camera Obscura in Santa Monica Senior Center

The Camera Obscura in Santa Monica (Inside the Senior Center)

The Camera Obscura is another hidden gem tucked away inside a Senior Center in the heart of the west side.

Simply walk into the Santa Monica Senior Center on Ocean Ave., give them your I.D. as a deposit, and you’ll be allowed to go upstairs into a pitch black room and observe a perfect image of the surrounding city, as projected by a tiny pinhole of light cast onto a 4-foot disc. Sound cool?


Camera Obscura in Santa Monica Senior Center
Credit: Yelp

If nothing else it’s a unique experience, a treat for photography geeks, and of course 100% free!


More on a Camera Obscura from Wikipedia:

“A camera obscura (Latin: “darkened room”) is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography and the camera. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, rotated 180 degrees (thus upside-down), but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.”

More information:
Yelp Page

Location & Hours

Senior Recreation Center
1450 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90407
(310) 458-8644

Mon 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tue 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Wed 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Thu 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Fri 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sat 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun Closed