The Long Beach City College Planetarium: Visiting the Planetarium Link for sharing this page on Facebook
Also see: Planetarium Home / What Is A Planetarium? / Astronomy Open Houses
The End Of An Era
     I retired in May 2012, so the April 27, 2012 astronomy open house was my last presentation. During the 2012-13 school year astronomy professors Mike MacCallum and Dave Sholle supervised occasional open houses, but they retired in May 2013, so when and whether public open houses will be given again is very uncertain. Still, the information below should prove useful if and when they are.

Planetarium / Building Location
     The LBCC Planetarium is located in Room D326, on the third floor of the D building on the LAC campus, near the northwest corner of Clark Avenue and Carson Street. The planetarium classroom is approximately fifty feet wide, forty feet deep and thirty feet high. The height accommodates a thirty-five-foot diameter hemispherical dome, which serves as the screen for the projection system. The top of the dome and its steel support rings extend into the pyramidal structure shown in the aerial photo, second below. The patinated copper dome atop the pyramid announces the location of the planetarium, but has no physical connection to the dome inside the planetarium.
     Right, an aerial photo of the D Building, and below, a portion of a map displayed at Parking (below), showing the building's location; the D building is the third building from the northwest corner of Clark and Carson. On the map, metered parking is indicated by circled P's, and vending machines for purchasing one-day parking permits are indicated by red triangles.
Map showing location of Building D
(image from the LBCC LAC map)
Aerial image of Building D, showing location on campus
     A closer view of Building D. The dome and truncated pyramid at the top show the location of the planetarium. The white dome at bottom left is the observing area for astronomy lab classes and open houses. To reach the observing area, take the utility stairwell near the planetarium to the roof, and follow the padded path to the west, or accompany Professor Seligman to the roof via the South elevator.
Aerial close-up of Building D
     A view of the D building from the northwest. The large structure at the top is the planetarium classroom. The balcony was originally intended as an observation platform, but its view is blocked by the building itself, so it has only been used for extra seating during fund-raising luncheons and dinners.
     (image from
View of Building D from northwest
Building D from the northeast
     A view of the D building from the northeast, showing the east entrance to the building, next to parking lot H.
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     A view of the D building from the southeast, showing two of the entrances on the south side of the building.
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View of building D from the southeast

     The Long Beach Police Department patrols the campus regularly, and tickets all incorrectly parked cars (current parking fines are in the $50 range).
     Street parking is severely restricted on most streets near campus, and is not a reasonable option for most people; but there is parking adjacent to Heartwell Park, on the southeast corner of Clark and Carson, if you don't mind a bit of a walk, and exercise caution if you have to step into traffic, to leave your car.
     Metered parking (shown in the map at right as circled P's) is mostly limited to half an hour, which is too short a time for more than the briefest of visits to the planetarium, so most visitors should use the vending machines (shown as red triangles) to purchase one-day parking permits.
     Permit parking is allowed in most lots, but all lots have spaces marked for specific use (e.g., staff, carpool, or handicapped parking). In general, one-day permits are only valid for unmarked (student) spaces. Parking in a marked space risks receiving a ticket, regardless of what signs at lot entrances say. The only exception is handicapped spaces, which of course require the use of both a permit and a handicapped placard or license plate.
     (image from the LBCC
LAC map)
Map of LAC parking lots
Access / Handicapped Access
     The floor plan at right shows the first floor of the D building, and selected portions of the third floor (highlighted in blue), with North at the top, as in the parking map (above), which shows the location of the building relative to other buildings and the parking lots. Arrows indicate various exits around the outside of the building. Room numbers for first floor rooms which open onto hallways are also shown, for orientation inside the building. Restrooms are marked WRR and MRR, at top right and lower left on the first floor, but top right only on the third floor (as indicated by blue highlighting).
Diagram showing general layout of first floor of the D building, with overlay of corresponding parts of the third floor, where the planetarium is located
     To reach the third floor, take one of the three stairways (highlighted in yellow), or one of the two elevators (highlighted in red, with red dots indicating the hallways they open onto). The location of Room D326 is shown near top right, in the same position as D135 on the first floor, relative to the hallways, stairwells and elevators. Of the four doors leading into D326, only one is an entrance; the others have nonoperational handles, which display "Exit Only" signs; the entrance is shown by the blue dot in the hallway outside D326.
     When I gave planetarium open houses, there were often telescope open houses afterward (weather permitting). The observing area on the roof was accessed via a narrow stairwell opposite the north elevator (indicated by a blue dot next to the red dot for that elevator), or via the South elevator. However, due to deteriorating conditions on the roof, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be used for telescope viewing again, and combined planetarium and telescope shows are almost certainly a thing of the past.