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Arch Obolor’s BWANA DEVIL (1953) launched the brief 3D boom of the 1950s. Why brief? Mostly because theaters did not want to spend the money to get it right.

A few years back I met a man whose company wired motion picture theaters for sound. He said that while flagship theaters where producers would see their films were wired for state of the art sound the rest of the theaters in the chains had the cheapest they could get away with.

I learned early as a young actor that audiences come out not to have expectations met but surpassed.

BWANA DEVIL is a film of historic importance. It is available in 2D on DVD but seeing this film in 2D is not experiencing it as it must and should be experienced.

The work of THE 3D FILM ARCHIVE is stunning. More producers should be taking advantage of what they have to offer.

THE 3D FILM ARCHIVE is composed of a dedicated crew devoted to restoring 3D Motion pictures. Their restorations are done for around $10,000.00 (which is small change in today’s market). With their latest release DYNASTY (1977) they have pioneered a vastly improved anaglyph (red and blue glasses) 3D for people who do not have digital 3D systems.

Is there an audience of restored 3D classic films from the 1950s?

Yes. And not only the 1950s.

New York’s FILM FORUM is but one of the many theaters world wide which regularly offer 3D film festivals: .

There is a myth that 3D motion pictures died out in the 1950s because audiences quickly tired of them. That myth and many others is exploded on the 3D Film Archive’s site:  .

The truth is that 3D movies made money and continue to make money. If you own the rights to a 3D motion picture which has yet to be released on Blu-ray you risk the chance that your investment will just rot as so many films have.

One of the unique aspects of the 3D FILM ARCHIVE is that its supporters have helped raise the money for the restorations. I am one of those who has done and continues to do this.

There are many good reasons to restore your picture. The main one is that unrestored it has no value.

I am eager to see I, THE JURY, MONEY FROM HOME, BWANA DEVIL and a host of other titles in 3D. We now have almost the entire Paramount and Universal 1950s 3D library. Fox produced only two 3D titles in the 1950s. One, INFERNO, is available from Panamint Cinema in England:   . It’s a stunner. The other, GORILLA AT LARGE needs to be restored.

Warner Brothers has done great restorations of a few of their titles (HOUSE OF WAX, DIAL M FOR MURDER, KISS ME KATE (the last two both from MGM) and an incredibly beautiful 2D to 2D conversion of 1939’s THE WIZARD OF OZ but they have so much more including the RKO titles.

When Paramount’s MONEY FROM HOME and FLIGHT TO TANGIER get a 3D restoration their entire 1950s catalogue of 3D motion pictures will be saved for tomorrow.

Are these pictures theaters will want to show? Yes. Are these pictures people will want to see and buy? Yes.

–Reg Hartt.



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