The 1950s 3D Movie Trend

In 1922, 3D filming technique was invented but it didn't become a big hit that took over the theaters until the early 1950s.  Theaters were motivated to give people something they couldn't get in front of the TV set at home. The fad, however, lasted only a few years before people found it uncomfortable and not so exciting anymore. 

In 1953, "House of Wax" was the first color 3D film released. This Vincent Price classic was much anticipated. It utilized the steroscopic 3D technology and considered a real step up. "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" was released in 3D and used it sparingly instead of for the wow effect, and it was well received. This movie also utilized stereophonic sound. To viewers, this was worth going to a theater and experience new things. 

In order to be successful, 3D has to create an illusion of depth. A special camera films the scenes from two slightly off perspectives Once the property eyewear is worn, it creates the visual depth perception. These films are expensive to make and that, along with the glasses for the audience, made them an expensive prospect for little more attendance.

One version of 3D, an earlier used one, utilizes glasses with two different colored lenses, red and blue. This basically creates an offset between the eyes and a sense of depth. Sometimes, they miss the mark at being effective or cause headaches.

The other version of 3D involves polarized lenses. These polarized lenses are oriented differently to creates slightly different images for each eye and that causes a sense of depth. 

Source:  In modern day systems such as RealD, two different projectors, each projecting a different perspective of the polarized image, are not required. Instead, a single projector can be used that switches the polarity rapidly (144 times per second with RealD) using a liquid crystal filter that is placed in front of the lens. Only one projector is needed as the left and right images are displayed alternately as such a rapid rate that the viewer cannot discern the effect.

Some of the reasons for the drop-off of interest in 3D movies was that some people were nauseated, got headaches, glasses didn't fit properly to view optimally, and everyone needed a straight-on seat to get the best effects. 

There have been more modern times versions of 3D movies like Jaws 3 and Friday the 13th III. They drew in a few curious lookers who wanted to see knives and sharks coming at them, but still did not impress viewers enough to get hooked. In fact, it's hard to tell if people are not excited about the new upcoming "Ghostbusters 3" because it's an all female cast or because it's 3D but the 3D might not help it. 

IMAX Theater did find a way to make 3D almost a requirement for moviegoers. These amazing theaters are designed to be ideal for perfect viewing. IMAX 3D movies are with the time and the expense to view if you want a truly amazing 3D experience.  They give you glasses to wear that are not different colors, feel and look like nice sunglasses so you can go out to the bathroom with them on and feel less claustrophobic. Some of the movies they produced in 2014: Frankenstein, Robocop, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Although technology has changed and 3D movies are still being released, there isn't a great excitement about it any longer. The day they can create 3D that involves a holographic effect as if the screen isn't even there; they might get us into the theaters for that one.