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Friday, December 30, 2005


A 3-D Surprise (At Least For Me)

Here's an October, 1953 ad from the small-town theater where I grew up. I found this among microfilm at our local Community College, it having jumped out like a lion in my lap!. How often was a feature shown both flat and in 3-D during a single engagement? Maybe such things were commonplace, and I haven't heard (or read) about them. Our Liberty Theatre was owned and operated at that time by a great showman named Ivan Anderson (with son-in-law Colonel Roy Forehand), Mr. Anderson having started out in vaudeville and being heavily involved with promotion and exploitation of 3-D for the Southeast region (how do I know this? --- he was featured in Boxoffice several times during 1953). 3-D was somewhat a flash in the pan, and by autumn of '53, I suspect Liberty staff knew it too. Willingness to offer I, The Jury both ways may have been a response to patron requests. So many 3-D presentations were hampered by a myriad of technical problems, and those glasses, besides being inconvenient, did not come free. By year's end, the novelty had worn off. When I finally had the opportunity to search storage rooms and closets at the Liberty, around 1975, I found boxes of unused 3-D glasses, mute testimony of a fascinating period of film history that had come and gone.

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