Escape Room: A Real Detective Experience Opens in L.A.

It’s a real-life escape game, more similar to the board game Clue than a certain bloody horror franchise you’re thinking of (rest assured there are no saws involved)


December 3, 2014 :: 10:00 AM

Photo by Andrew Bramasco

“I read something about an ‘escape from the room’ event in Budapest at the beginning of this year. It sounded like the coolest thing ever, and I wanted to go there immediately and check it out,” says John Hennessy, who 10 years ago helped found urban scavenger hunt series Race/L.A. These days he has a new brain-teasing project that’s been taking up his days and nights—Escape Room L.A.: The Detective, which opens to the public on Dec. 3, his own version of the Hungarian lockdown.

It’s a real-life escape game, but more similar to the board game Clue than a certain bloody horror franchise you’re thinking about. (Rest assured there are no saws involved.) After a quick briefing by the Escape Room staff, you and your team of up to 12 people (you’ll likely be grouped with a few strangers) will step back in time to a 1940s detective’s office. The door will be shut and a timer will be set, giving you exactly one hour to locate the key granting your exit. To obtain that key, you’ll solve a myriad of puzzles and cryptic codes, some easier than others but all contributing to your eventual escape. There really is no experience like this one to be found in L.A.

“Creating puzzles and clues is what I’ve been doing for 10 years,” says Hennessy. Unlike Race/L.A.’s group hunts, though, Escape Room isn’t a competition. “Everyone needs to work together to find the solution.”

There’s only one downside to Escape Room L.A.—guests aren’t allowed a second chance in the room. But don’t fret too much. “We’ve leased the room next door because we plan to open another Escape Room in early 2015,” Hennessy says. “But this one will have a completely different theme. What that is I don’t know yet, but I’m tossing around some ideas.” Check out availability and book your experience—you won’t regret it—at

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