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151221 December 21, 2015

Do You Remember the
Early 3-D Movies?
by Tommy Towery
LHS '64
        Sue and I went to see the new Star Wars movie on the opening day and decided to pay a little extra to see it in 3-D. It is easy to see how the technology has progressed from my first encounter with 3-D movies, but it is fun to look back on those days and remember how it was then. I got to thinking about them and found the short video made in 2009 about the subject.

        Even though Bwana Devil was the first movie to be released in 3-D during my early movie going days, my first memory of one was going to the Lyric and seeing The House of Wax. During the 1950s, the familiar disposable anaglyph glasses made of cardboard were mainly used for comic books  in red-and-blue anaglyph. House of Wax was used the same technology, identified by the red/blue hue of the film and was the first 3-D film with stereophonic sound to be presented in a regular movie theater. It premiered nationwide on April 10, 1953, and went out for a general release on April 25, 1953. After all these years have passed, I still remember vividly how realistic the ball seemed to come out of the screen when the man with the paddle with the ball on the rubber band hit it toward the audience. People all around me were ducking to keep from being hit in the head by the ball. Many say this was the launching pad for Vincent Price into the horror movie genre. If you happen to have a pair of the glasses still, you might enjoy this clip.

House of Wax Paddle Ball

        I also remember seeing Phantom of the Rue Morgue and Robot Monster, the film which featured the man in the gorilla costume wearing a fishbowl. Of course, my favorite 3-D movie back then was Creature from the Black LagoonCreature from the Black Lagoon was released in 1954 and filmed in 3-D and originally projected by the polarized light method. The audience wore viewers with gray polarizing filters, similar to the viewers most commonly used today. Because the brief 1950s 3-D film fad had peaked in mid-1953 and was fading fast in early 1954, many audiences actually saw the film "flat", in 2-D. I loved the horror and the gill man reaching out to get members of the audience. Of course I really just loved that movie, which I classify as one of my favorite of all times.  It was shown at the Grand Theater in 3-D first but only the first of the two follow-on sequels was and the last one wasn't.

        In my opinion, the animated movies are the best use of 3-D movie technology and I really like seeing them, even if they are mostly geared toward the younger audience. The use of 3-D effects in the new Star Wars film disappointed me a little, because I think they could have made better use of it in some of the scenes, but some scenes were quite impressive.

        TRIVIA QUESTION: What were the names of the two follow on Creature from the Black Lagoon movies? Answers below.

        Memphis, TN -  I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season. We plan to stay home since all the family was here last year for Christmas and most of them came for Thanksgiving this year.


Radar Men from the Moon Chapter 7


The Virtual Jukebox
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

This Week's Selections By

Jim Bannister

LHS '66

        Tommy, Thanks again for all that you do for the FamiLee. Here are my jukebox favorites:

#1 "Double Shot of My Baby's Love"    The Swinging Medalions

Double Shot of My Baby's Love

#2  "Louie Louie"      The Kingsmen

Louie Louie

#3 " Satisfaction"      The Rolling Stones

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

TRIVIA ANSWER:    Revenge of the Creature (1955), which was also filmed and released in 3-D in hopes of reviving the format, and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) filmed in 3-D.



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