CHICAGO (CBS) — With a solar eclipse just days away, demand is sky high for glasses to help you watch it safely.
Eclipse glasses are so hot right now, dozens of retailers contacted by CBS 2 said they’re sold out.
The Adler Planetarium was hosting a giveaway Thursday afternoon in Grant Park. They have one box left with 2,800 glasses, and if the giveaway is as popular as the one at Daley Plaza Thursday morning, they’ll be gone in minutes.
People stood in line in the pouring rain for hours to get the free glasses. The first person got in line at 5:30 a.m. The giveaway was scheduled to be from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., but they ran out of glasses by 8:30 a.m., after handing out 9,000 pairs.
Those lucky enough to get a set said it was worth the wait.
“I had to set my alarm to get up at 6 o’clock, and I got them, so I’m very happy, because now I can watch the eclipse. Once in a lifetime, and in my lifetime not going to see it again,” Carolyn Naselli said.
Terry Mankus said he was near the end of the line, which ringed all the way around Daley Plaza and the Daley Center.
“Totally worth it for total eclipse,” he said. “It’s an event. It’s an experience, and I need the glasses.”
You’ll need special glasses, a pinhole projector, or other device designed for viewing a solar eclipse to watch as the moon passes in front of the sun on Monday. Viewing an eclipse with the naked eye can damage your retinas if you don’t have the proper eyewear.
While the eclipse will only be a partial one in Chicago, downstate Carbondale is along the eclipse’s path of totality, and is where the total eclipse will last the longest.
Either way, viewing an eclipse safely means protecting your eyes, which is why the glasses are so popular.
On Craigslist, one seller was asking $20 for the same glasses the Adler was giving out, claiming they cost $75.
One woman who showed up for the Daley Plaza giveaway said she was the victim of a scam on eBay.
“I’m pretty upset. I mean I’m going down to see the full eclipse, so it’s more important that I have real glasses, but I just think it’s sick that people would risk other peoples eyesight just to make some money,” Stephanie Lucak said. “I’ve called so many people, I’ve been on so many websites, I’ve spent a lot of time that I don’t have to try to find some.”
Lucak got two pairs of safety glasss.
The Adler will give away more glasses at Grant Park, starting at 2 p.m., at the corner of Roosevelt and Indiana.
The Planetarium also also is giving away eclipse glasses at Lagunitas Brewing Co. on Friday starting at 12:30 p.m.