Nerd Nite East Bay, Tommy and Pinball Play (21 +)

Selected date

Friday August 25

Selected time

6:00 PM  –  10:00 PM

Find out what it’s like to visit Chabot when there are no kids. Our partner, Nerd Night East Bay will host a series of short scientific lectures while you sip on adult libations in our Planetarium at 7pm.

Through out the night, grab a blanket and head over to our outdoor Amphitheater for a screening of Tommy (1975) and enjoy beer and wine from the bar and food from the Canasta Kitchen Food Truck.

Enjoy live music from the DJ and make your way up to the exhibit: The Art & Science of Pinball, and try out your skills on one of the 30 pinball machines in the exhibit! 

Seats for the Nerd Nite talk are limited and are first come, first served. Be sure to show up early to ensure a seat in our Planetarium.




The Science of Pinball Success

 The amazing plays, “bad luck” and bright lights of the best pinball games are guided by principles of geometry, pattern recognition, physics, mechanical engineering, material properties and hand-eye coordination. Learn about simple scientific tricks to game geometry and manipulate math to free up free balls in your own pinball adventures from Pacific Pinball Museum Founder and Executive Director Michael Schiess.



Man’s Mental Mechanical Machinations

 Humans push to mechanize the world around us, hoping to surround ourselves with a fantastic future driven by a predictable, clockwork universe. Learn about the history of the human drive to automate reality and ponder if this human belief structure will continue or could abruptly change in this presentation by Camie Bontaites of the Chabot Center’s OpenScienceLab and the ArmchairGalactic blog.



The Forgotten Coney Island of the West

 Built from remnants of the Pacific Panama exhibition, the world famous Neptune Beach amusement park once lined the East Bay. Neptune Beach had the world’s largest swimming pool, championship boxing, celebrities, and a roller coaster that provided stunning views of the Bay. Learn about the historic rise and fall of the amusement center known as “The Coney Island of the West”, plus get a rollicking history of Chabot and East Bay observatories in this talk by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos, collaborators on several East Bay and SF history books, including East Bay Then & Now and Lost Ballparks, their most recent release. Dennis and Eric also lead history-themed walking tours, host and co-publish the only locally owned Alameda newspaper, the Alameda Sun.