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Warner Archive is sitting on a treasure trove of 3D classics. They should contact Robert Furmanek and The 3D Film Archive and hire them to restore them. Is there a market for these titles? Based on the high success of The 3D Film Archive I can say, “Yes, absolutely, yes.”

Years ago I could only read about seeing these films in other cities. Today, thanks to the 3D FILM ARCHIVE, al I have to do is fire up my 3D projector. A big thank you to Lenny Lipton and those who worked with him for developing the technology that has made that possible.

For years I could only dream of seeing these films. Now all I have to do to see many of them is fire up my 3D projector.

These are not what many might consider films with an audience in today’s market. They would be wrong. The first editions of these sold out. Now Kino Lorber (much thanks) is offering them again.

Robert Furmanek was set to offer this title through THE 3D FILM ARCHIVE years ago. Then someone stuck a stick in the wheel. It is coming out this year from Classic Flix.

One of the first 3D titles I acquired was MOTOR RHYTHM in a field sequential 3D copy derived from a VHS original. It is on 3D RARITIES 1 under its original title NEW DIMENSIONS. The upgrade is spectacular.


Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. When I think of the things I am thankful for I am reminded of many people.

One that I am singling out is Robert Furmanek and his 3D Film Archive.

His 3D RARITIES 1 and 2 are a special treat rescuing films few valued.

Truth be told everything the Archive rescues is a special treat.

Some have reviewed this collection and others from The 3D Film Archive negatively because they lack for them the entertainment value of contemporary films. One reviewer wrote, “Love to see an homage to the history of 3D such as this. The work to find and restore these clips is nothing short of heroic. Unfortunately most of the clips, even with good 3D, are terribly boring.”

I learned long ago that not everyone sees and feels as I do.

In the 1980s I saw the stage production of THE ELEPHANT MAN at The Royal Alexandra Theater in Toronto. No props. No elaborate make ups. Nothing except the actors on stage delivering their lines. In short, everything the David Lynch film is not (which is nothing against the film). When the great star of English theater asked to shake his hand just before the intermission and, after he offered his one good one, said, “No, please the other one,” I found myself weeping from the sheer force of the love presented in that moment. Two weeks later I took a much valued friend to see it. Once again I found the tears welling up in my eyes. I thought my friend would experience the same feeling. To my surprise they said, “I have never experienced anything more horrifying.” Different stroke for different folks.

Too much of value is daily lost because no one cared.

For myself when I meet someone who does care I feel privileged to know them.

Bob Furmanek and the rest of the crew at The 3D Film Archive are doing incredibly valuable work in preserving and presenting these films under what are extremely difficult and trying circumstances. The recent kerfuffle over the 3D Blu-ray restoration of I, THE JURY is but the latest example. We could have had that film years ago had the Archive been allowed to work on it.

3D motion pictures have had a long and difficult birth during which for too many times the baby has been pronounced dead.

Thankfully, the baby is not dead.

My friend felt horror where I felt love. In that moment I realized that as close as we are physically to a person (as I was sitting beside them in that theater) there can be an immeasurable distance between us. That does not make either of us a better person than the other. It just shows life as it is. I think most who experienced that moment in THE ELEPHANT MAN experienced it the way I experienced it. But the point is that not everyone does.

My own feeling is that instead of placing obstacles in the path of THE 3D FILM ARCHIVE the studios and rights holders ought to be doing everything they can to help them. A movie has no value sitting on the shelf in a vault or a basement gathering dust. It only has value when it is off the shelf being offered to the public.

Yes, there is risk but without risk there is neither life nor theater.

Perhaps the greatest lost opportunity was the willful refusal of the distributor to offer the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis film MONEY FROM HOME in a 3D Blu-ray while Lewis was alive to appreciate it and after the 3D Film Archive went beyond the call of duty to lower the cost of the restoration.

There are still titles in the Paramount and Universal vaults that need restoration (FLIGHT TO TANGIER, THE GLASS WEB, MONEY FROM HOME).

The Warner Archive and Columbia Pictures have titles that need to be rescued and offered to the public in their 3D versions.

This is a moment when we have highly skilled people doing terrific work to preserve and restore these motion pictures. The fact that so many films have been and are being restored by them is cause for joy on the part of all those who value those efforts. So, yes, for a few these titles may be terribly boring. The point is they were not boring to Bob Furmanek and the 3D Film Archive and they are not boring to the vast majority of the folks who have been supporting and who continue to support their work. That is why I am standing up and speaking out now.

Remember when reading a review that it is one person’s opinion. It is not everyone. And remember that as I learned sitting beside my friend in that theater watching THE ELEPHANT MAN, there may be a universe between us and that person.

While I’m at it, I salute Lenny Lipton who created the digital technology that allows us to experience these films. He put the royalties from his hit song, “PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON” into advancing 3D. “Not many people have the chance to make the kind of contribution I have, and it has been through dumb luck as much as anything else. I created the electronic stereoscopic display industry – not on my own, but if I had never been born it would have taken a different shape or may have been delayed.” —Lenny Lipton from a 2007 interview for Physics World…/lenny-lipton-1940-2022-puff…/ .

Years ago I could only dream about seeing the films in out of Toronto 3D Film Festivals. Today thanks to Bob Furmanek, Lenny Lipton and many others all I have to do is fire up my 3D projector. We have a long way yet to go, yes. However we have come a long way on that long way.

To those who have made and are making that possible I say, “Thank you.”–Reg Hartt

The first WORLD 3D Expo was 2003 and Robert Furmanek supplied 21 of the 34 features.

The World 3-D Exposition In September 2003, Sabucat Productions organized the first World 3-D Exposition, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original craze. The Expo was held at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. During the two-week festival, over 30 of the 50 “golden era” stereoscopic features (as well as shorts) were screened, many coming from the collection of film historian and archivist Robert Furmanek, who had spent the previous 15 years painstakingly tracking down and preserving each film to its original glory. In attendance were many stars from each film, respectively, and some were moved to tears by the sold-out seating with audiences of film buffs from all over the world who came to remember their previous glories.

In May 2006, the second World 3-D Exposition was announced for September of that year, presented by the 3-D Film Preservation Fund. Along with the favorites of the previous exposition were newly discovered features and shorts, and like the previous Expo, guests from each film. Expo II was announced as being the locale for the world premiere of several films never before seen in 3-D, including The Diamond Wizard and the Universal short, Hawaiian Nights with Mamie Van Doren and Pinky Lee. Other “re-premieres” of films not seen since their original release in stereoscopic form included Cease Fire!, Taza, Son of Cochise, Wings of the Hawk, and Those Redheads From Seattle. Also shown were the long-lost shorts Carmenesque and A Day in the Country (both 1953) and William Van Doren Kelley’s two Plasticon shorts (1922 and 1923).


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