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This Day In History, April 10th, 2022 – “Watching In 3-D”

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It was just 69 years ago today, April 10, 1953, when moviegoers in New York watched the premier of the first ever color movie in third-dimension released from a major studio. Warner Brothers “The House of Wax”, starring Vincent Price, was premiered on this date in the old Manhattan Paramount Theatre, and immediately was hailed as a motion picture success. Though 3-D was not new, as movie makers had experimented with this process for some time, this is the first major success, and in color.

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A movie poster for “The House of Wax”, promoting the 3-D viewing experience. Image courtesy of Wikicommons, Public Domain.

By using the method of Stereoscopy, movie makers are able to create the illusion of actually being involved with the film. Stereoscopy is basically the idea of binoculars, if you separate the vision within the two eyes, you can create your own little fantasy world of being enraptured within the movie. Most 3-D movies are filmed with two cameras, shooting the same scene from roughly the same advantage point, like binoculars. When audiences are watching the film, both cameras project on the screen, and those funky glasses help separate the eyes into two separate entities, thus providing the third-dimension viewing experience. If any of you are horror movie fans, and especially that of the weird and tricked-out movies famous to Vincent Price, you can only image the audience’s reaction to 3-D in color, and the movie made it big in the box office, and it all started, 69 years ago, today.

What was happening yesterday, on April 9th?

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