[WORLDKINGS] On this day - April 10, 2023 – The 70th anniversary of the first 3D color film, “House of Wax”, premiered in New York City


(Worldkings.org) "House of Wax" premiered in New York on April 10, 1953, making it the first 3D film with stereophonic sound to be presented in a regular theater and the first color 3D feature film from a major American studio.

House of Wax is a 1953 American period mystery-horror film directed by Andre DeToth. On April 10, 1953, the horror film, starring Vincent Price, opens at New York’s Paramount Theater. Released by Warner Brothers, it was the first movie from a major motion-picture studio to be shot using the three-dimensional, or stereoscopic, film process and one of the first horror films to be shot in color.


The House of Wax is a remake of the 1933 Mystery in the Wax Museum. The film told the story of Henry Jarrod (Price), a sculptor who goes insane after his partner burns their wax museum to the ground in order to collect the insurance payout. Jarrod survives the fire and later opens his own wax museum, featuring an exhibit immortalizing crimes past and present, including the murder of his ex-partner by a mysterious disfigured killer. The film’s heroine, played by Phyllis Kirk, eventually discovers that Jarrod himself is the killer, and that the museum’s “sculptures” are all the wax-covered bodies of his victims.

The 3-D filming process 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 House of Wax 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. The 3-D process proved especially effective during the film’s climactic chase scene, in which the cloaked killer pursues Kirk’s character through a series of gas-lit streets and alleyways, with the viewer following along behind them.


In 1971, the film was re-released to theaters in 3D with a full advertising campaign. Newly struck prints of the film in Chris Condon's single-strip StereoVision 3D format were used for this release. Another major re-release occurred during the 3D boom of the early 1980s. Warner Bros. released a very loose remake of the film in 2005, but it was poorly-received.

The Library of Congress selected House of Wax for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2014, deeming it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


According to Wikipedia – History.com

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