10 Apr : 3-D filming began with a bang

3D films are no wonder today. But was a great achievement 66 years ago when first 3D film in colour was premiered in New York’s Paramount Theater. The film was “House of Wax” by Warner Brothers. The film was released on 25 April, 1953.

“House of Wax” was a remake of Warner Bros. “Mystery of the Wax Museum” (1933), without the comic relief featured in the earlier film. In 2005, another version of “House of Wax” was distributed by Warner Bros., a new film but its plot was very different from the one used in the two earlier films.

The film earned an impressive $4.3 million at the box office (by 1953 standards).

The 3-D filming process those days, involved using two cameras, or a single twin-lensed camera, to represent both the right and the left eye of the human viewer. Images from the two cameras were then projected simultaneously onto the screen. Moviegoers had to view the movie through special stereoscopic glasses to see its full 3-D effect. The lenses were specially tinted so that the viewer would see the right- and left-eye images only with the eyes for which they were intended.

3D films have existed in some form since 1915, but because of the expensive processes involved in making, they were not regularly produced.