Bwena Devil, the 1st 3-D movie
On November 1952, J. R. Eyerman famously captured this photo of a formally-attired audience sporting 3-D glasses during opening night screening of movie “Bwana Devil”-1st full length color 3-D (aka “Natural Vision”) motion picture, at Paramount Theater, Hollywood, CA.
Set in British East Africa of the early 20th century, Bwana Devil was based on the true story of the Tsavo maneaters, a pair of lions which were responsible for the deaths of a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway, from March through December 1898. Although criticially panned, the movie started a temporary 3-D boom in the US film making industry from 1952 to 1954. The advance of television halved the movie attendance from 90 million in 1948 to 46 million in 1951 and the movie studios tried desperately to lure the audience back into the theatres with many innovative techniques, among which were National Vision, Cinerama and other unsuccessful 3D ventures.