A while back we wrote about places in New York City that would be perfect for geeks and nerds. Of course, the Big Apple isn’t the only place with such locations; Los Angeles has more than its share of stuff for geeks and nerds to enjoy…
Eighty Two is a video game-themed bar with a rotating collection of dozens of arcade games and pinball machines from the 1978 to 1994 era. It also boasts a full bar, outdoor patio, nightly DJs, and weekly arcade and pinball competitions. Entry is always 100% free on a first-come-first-served basis with no cover charge, guest list or reservations, so get there early and expect to wait a while if you come on a weekend night.
A hybrid model of retail, game space and tea venue, they provide an extensive library of board, card and role playing games, as well as a café of loose leaf teas for sale, all under the same roof.
They have dozens upon dozens of games, including Jenga, Clue, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokemon, Magic The Gathering, and bunches more.
Nicknamed “Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos,” visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. They offer ongoing exhibits, as well as time-limited events.
Built in 1929, the Nuart Theatre is an art house theatre that’s the flagship location of the Landmark Theatres chain. It generally plays a mixture of classic, unique and international films but it also well known for its weekly showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Playland Arcade, located at Santa Monica Pier, is the perfect place for someone who’s still bragging about their Galaga score from way back when. An old school arcade, it’s chock full with over 200 video games and attractions from the 80s to today.
Scum & Villainy Cantina
This is a “must-do” for Star Wars fans. Originally a “pop up” in 2017, this Star Wars tribute bar, opened because people needed a place to go to celebrate their fandom, became a permanent location later that year.
Time Travel Mart
This small storefront sells anything you can think of that has to do with time travel, from an emergency mummy kit to fresh dinosaur eggs to shade (directions: “take seed, travel back in time, plant it, return to the present and relax under your tree.”). From their website: We are also the convenience store for time travelers! We’ve been here since the beginning of time so no matter the era, we have just the thing to help you through your travels.
All proceeds help support the free programs at 826LA, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
Joe and I love to visit places where movies have been filmed. We generally don’t go on tours but instead study where places are and then, well, visit them ;-). Case in point, places where they filmed The Sound of Music and the Harry Potter series of films. Welp, if you head north of Los Angeles and go to Vasquez Rocks, you’ll see the slow and epic battle between Kirk and the Gorn in the original Star Trek series. The rocks have also been used as a filming location for the 2009 Star Trek, Planet of The Apes, and other Sci-Fi treasures.
Wacko Soap Plant
Wacko Soap Plant calls itself the “2d happiest place on earth.” And I think it might be. They have a little bit of everything, including books & literature, tarot & oracle decks, vintage auto decals, music & movies, electronics & gadgets, bath & beauty, toys & novelties, clothing & accessories, home decor, prints & posters, rare & collectibles, smoking & drinking, anatomy & taxidermy, school & office, candy & gum, and automotive, It sounds like somewhere where you could spend hours.
Walt Disney’s Barn & Train Museum
Walt Disney was a train enthusiast and thanks to a lot of planning, the original barn from his backyard that he used to build and maintain his train collection is now permanently located in Griffith Park. On every 3rd Sunday, the barn, which houses model trains & memorabilia (both Disney and non-Disney), is open to the public. It’s free to enter, donations welcome.
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Another geeky place is the Western Museum of Flight, formerly at Hawthorne Airport near LAX but now at Torrance airport.