Sometimes, some of the coolest things are available right in your own backyard. In San Pedro, we are blessed to have the Fort MacArthur Museum, which is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Fort MacArthur. Fort MacArthur was the guardian of the Los Angeles Harbor from 1914 to 1974.
If you browse on the Fort MacArthur Museum website, one of the recent accomplishments is the restoration of a WWII General Electric Searchlight which was used for protection during air raids. There is an eight-minute video on the site which is worth watching, as you can see the restored light in operation. The story of the restoration is also present, and makes for very interesting reading.
If you are interested in touring the fort, check out the website - http://www.ftmac.org/index.htm. You might have to call them for more information.