Solar eclipse glasses hard to come by around Philadelphia

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Solar eclipse glasses hard to find around Phila. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on August 18, 2017. (WPVI)

As the eclipse draws near everyone wants to get their hands on a pair of coveted solar glasses. But many places can't keep them in stock.

So, now hopeful eclipse watchers are scrambling.

It was an unusually busy Friday afternoon after word got out that the Philadelphia Zoo gift shop still had solar eclipse glasses in stock.

Marsha Floweres of Wynnefield squeezed through the door minutes before closing.

She said, "I've been searching all day. Literally it occurred to me to put a post on Facebook and someone directed me to the museums and they directed me here fortunately."

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Eric Battestelli of Wyndmoor said, "My wife has been looking for a week and a half to two weeks, and no one has them."

After sharing about its supply on social media, the zoo got a response like never before.

Jerry Kelly of the Philadelphia Zoo said, "There's a time sensitivity for people. They know it happens on Monday and it's only this one time. It's neat. You see again, its ringing off the hook."

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Stores across the Delaware Valley quickly sold out of the coveted eyewear, including at the Franklin Institute where eager eclipse watchers were limited to 5.

"My older son is a science buff, so I'm hoping they'll be impressed. I'm a little freaked out, but we'll watch," Ryann Rouse of West Philadelphia said.

Other places, like the 7-Eleven store at Woodbourne and Trenton Road in Levittown, had a few dozen glasses, but when someone posted about it on our 6abc Facebook page the glasses were sold out within about an hour!

The Franklin Institute is now sold out too! They say they have a limited number for the eclipse viewing event on Monday, but if you have glasses be sure to bring them.

Even though a 7-Eleven store on Chestnut Street never carried them, Sheik Tajulislam said, "300 calls, more than 300 calls for eclipse glasses, but I don't have any supply today."

The demand driving up prices. Online we found glasses listed from 40 bucks up to 24 thousand.

Steve Elliott of Darby thought he got a deal. He paid 50 bucks for two.

When Action News told him we paid 5 dollars. Elliott responded "What'? No way. Oh my god."

"I'm going to be on national news. People are going to be Steve, you over paid for solar eclipse classes. Like how do you feel? You feel like a dunce," he said.

The Philadelphia Zoo opens Saturday at 9:30 a.m., and it is first come, first serve.

For a list of the approved glasses, visit:

For more information on the upcoming solar eclipse, visit:

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