How Long Ago Was the First 3D Movie Made?

Three-dimensional filmmaking has come a long way in nearly 100 years, but widespread commercial success has been elusive. Today’s television manufacturers have picked up the chase and are working to perfect a true 3D experience for home viewers and gamers, without the need for cheesy cardboard glasses. The first viable attempt to wow audiences with 3D came in 1922, when a film called “The Power of Love” was shown for the first time to an audience, all donning those iconic red-and-green anaglyph glasses that enabled them to see two corresponding film strips.

The silent film premiered on Sept. 27 of that year at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles, and viewers had the option of seeing one of two endings, by looking through one side of the 3D glasses or the other -- depending on whether they wanted a happy or tragic ending. It was never shown again.

Love lost, and love found:

  • “The Power of Love” made a brief comeback a year or two later, shown in New York City in 2D format under the title “Forbidden Lover.” Both versions are presumed lost.

  • “The Power of Love” was the only film released in a two-camera, two-projector stereoscopic format developed by Harry K. Fairall and Robert F. Elder.

  • 3D’s most recent successes include U2’s ground-breaking digital concert film of 2008, as well as the release of the popular sci-fi film “Avatar,” considered a major step forward for the technology in 2009.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info:

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Fr. Thomas Byles, who refused to leave the sinking Titanic and stayed to help others, is a candidate for sainthood.  more...
October 21 ,  1879 :  Thomas Edison lit up a light bulb for the first time.  more...