History of 3D


In the early 1950s, 3D stereoscopic motion pictures proved to be highly profitable ventures for the theater owners who exhibited them. Enormously popular cinematic classics like "The House of Wax, 3D" (1953), "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954), "Kiss Me, Kate" (1953), and others, proved the 3D format could be both popular and profitable.


These films were produced with dual cameras and shown with dual projection systems in the "stereoscopic 3D" format mentioned above. These three dimensional movies did extremely well at the box office on a "per screen" basis. However, in order to exhibit a 3D movie, expensive motion picture screens costing many thousands of dollars had to replace the theater's regular screens, and an elaborate 3D projection system had to be installed in each movie house at significant expense to the theater owner. Because of these costs, only a small percentage of cinemas ever converted to stereoscopic 3D, causing the 3D classics of the 1950s to become relics of the past.


Up until recently, virtually the only way the public was able to see stereoscopic 3D was at specially-equipped venues such as IMAX theaters, Las Vegas attractions, and large theme parks such as Universal and Disneyland.


The Resurgence Of 3D Movies


Until the 1990s, there were few stereoscopic 3D feature-length movies produced. Although 3D features had done very well on a "per screen" basis, most of them did relatively little business worldwide due to the small number of stereoscopically-equipped theaters. This situation began to change dramatically when IMAX began installing stereoscopic 3D equipment into their giant screen theaters, making it possible for IMAX to play stereoscopic 3D films. However, the 3D stereoscopic movies produced for the IMAX theaters were usually documentaries and docudramas running between 40 and 50 minutes.


But now because of Digital cinema 3D movies are bringing patrons into movie theaters in droves. Look at 3D blockbusters like: “Transformers:  Age of Extincton,” “Maleficent,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and "Frozen." 3D is HOT.