Malcolm R

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Not originally. They were usually in the over/under format (not sure if that’s the proper name) where a single strip of film was used to carry both the left and right eye views, and a polarized lens attachment for the projector allowed them to be played back properly.
I think the only one I ever saw in theaters was Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, and both that and Friday the 13th III 3D have both only ever been released on video in the same red/blue format. I know we did get Jaws 3 3D in polarized 3D blu-ray, and Parasite 3D is forthcoming from Kino.
 

Bob Furmanek

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Stephen_J_H

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To be fair, 80s 3D movies were awfully rare - 3D never caught on as a mainstream format back then - so it's not real an apples/apples comparison.

3D was really just a gimmick for bad movies in the 80s! :)
80s 3D movies were an effort to reinvigorate moviegoing during the lean years of the early 80s recession. None of them were particularly great, but because of the format being used, it was inexpensive to implement.

And weren't the 80's 3D movies in red/blue anaglyph, which looked awful?
No. No. A thousand times no, as previously stated.
Not originally. They were usually in the over/under format (not sure if that’s the proper name) where a single strip of film was used to carry both the left and right eye views, and a polarized lens attachment for the projector allowed them to be played back properly.
There were multiple over/under formats being used: Arrivision, Optimax III, Space-Vision, Marks 3-Depix.... The exhibition format was largely universal, but the lens layouts for the cameras varied from setup to setup, resulting in some weird artefacts from time to time. Arrivision had weird colour anomalies in the optics, and Optimax III used a strange layout for its lenses, with the lower lens mount almost looking like an outrigger, which would result in flat shadows, since the parallax was different from the upper half not only vertically, but horizontally. Check out Comin' At Ya in some of its darker moments. The picture below should explain:

Over/under formats were also grainier, for the same reason Techniscope was grainier: you're using half the frame height, increasing the size of apparent grain as projected. Techniscope got around this by printing their release prints in dye transfer, yielding a "velvety" image, but dye transfer was long gone by the time the 80s 3D boom came around.
I think the only one I ever saw in theaters was Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, and both that and Friday the 13th III 3D have both only ever been released on video in the same red/blue format. I know we did get Jaws 3 3D in polarized 3D blu-ray, and Parasite 3D is forthcoming from Kino.
Friday the 13th Part 3 was Marks 3-Depix, an over/under format. but has only been released on Blu-ray in anaglyph 3D. There was a field sequential master that was used for VHD in Japan and possibly for a field sequential release in North America [Sensio maybe?]. Other recent anaglyphic theatrical releases were Spy Kids 3D: Game Over and The Adventures of Shark-Boy and Lava Girl, since released in MVC codec as a double feature Blu-ray.
 

Camps

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There we disagree. "Jaws 3D"? Bad movie in any dimension. "Friday the 13th 3"? Bad movie in any dimension.

3D can elevate a movie - like "Pacific Rim", which I thought worked better in 3D by a good margin - but it can't turn a truly terrible film into a good one!
I'll grant you that "good" is relative. Is Metalstorm good, even in 3D? Um, no. But is it enjoyable in 3D? I find it to be. In 2D I'd probably find it fairly excruciating.

Bottom line, whether the movie was made in the early '80s or post-2007, 3D makes the difference in most cases between a purchase and a pass.
 

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Yup. 21st century 3D works so much better than those old red/blue versions!

I believe that's why it finally became more than a gimmick. The technology allowed filmmakers to use it in a broader, more satisfying manner...
polarized 3D is indeed superior to anaglyph 3D, that's absolutely correct.

One of the most satisfying examples of non-gimmicky 3D I've come across on disc is Miss Sadie Thompson. I recommend it to anyone who asks, and anyone who will listen, and sometimes to people who didn't ask and don't care! I wish I could find more 21st century equivalents.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I'll grant you that "good" is relative. Is Metalstorm good, even in 3D? Um, no. But is it enjoyable in 3D? I find it to be. In 2D I'd probably find it fairly excruciating.

Bottom line, whether the movie was made in the early '80s or post-2007, 3D makes the difference in most cases between a purchase and a pass.
I'll definitely give some movies a look on 3D that I'd skip 2D. I don't think I've seen a bad movie that 3D made enjoyable.

I watched "Smurfs 2" 3D yesterday - delightful 3D but still a weak movie...
 

Interdimensional

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Okay, I was wrong about the technology.

I still have yet to see a good 80s 3D movie, though. Maybe one exists but the ones I saw were terrible and gimmicky...
In all honesty, 80s 3D movies do not have the best reputation, and unfortunately all of those currently available on disc all suffer to varying degrees from occasional alignment issues that should have been corrected during digital remastering.

My personal favourite among those available is Amityville 3-D.

I would say don't be too quick to dismiss some of the more gimmick-laden 3-D films. If you've had some bad experiences dealing with anaglyph 3D and alignment errors, yes, they can be particularly harsh. They can also be a lot of fun. Unfortunately modern 3D conversions will not give you the full measure of what you're missing.
 
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Colin Jacobson

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In all honesty, 80s 3D movies do not have the best reputation, and unfortunately all of those currently available on disc all suffer to varying degrees from occasional alignment issues that should have been corrected during digital remastering.

My personal favourite among those available is Amityville 3-D.

I would say don't be too quick to dismiss some of the more gimmick-laden 3-D films. If you've had some bad experiences dealing with anaglyph 3D and alignment errors, yes, they can be particularly harsh. They can also be a lot of fun. Unfortunately modern 3D conversions will not give you the full measure of what you're missing.
I saw a bunch of the 80s 3Ders in the 80s but not since - I've viewed them as 2D films in more recent years, though.

And that's why I feel I can say authoritatively that they're bad films!

I think the main reason 3D finally "stuck" in the 21st century is because actual good movies used it, not just cheap schlock.

Even though some of the 50s 3Ders are pretty good movies, they're still outweighed by schlock, and that's definitely the case with the 80s flicks.

IMO! :D
 

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I'd like to hear the opinions if Treasure Of the 4 Crowns ever gets released! I've also been lucky to see on the big screen polarized Spacehunter and Starchaser in the last couple of years and they are among my favorites. As is Amityville 3D which truly scared me and was helmed by the only director in the 80s who worked in the 50s (Richard Fleischer - Arena)
 

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I think the main reason 3D finally "stuck" in the 21st century is because actual good movies used it, not just cheap schlock.

Even though some of the 50s 3Ders are pretty good movies, they're still outweighed by schlock, and that's definitely the case with the 80s flicks.

IMO! :D
I’m just curious, which of the 50 golden age 3-D features would you classify as “schlock?”

Here’s a handy checklist. http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/golden-age-3-d
 

Colin Jacobson

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I’m just curious, which of the 50 golden age 3-D features would you classify as “schlock?”

Here’s a handy checklist. http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/golden-age-3-d
I'm not going to cite specific titles because that just becomes an argument about opinion. Eye of the beholder, etc.

But do you really wanna claim that those are all good movies? That none of them are schlock? That they're all - or even the majority - remembered for reasons other than being "golden age 3D features"?

Really?
 
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Stephen_J_H

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I think the main reason 3D finally "stuck" in the 21st century is because actual good movies used it, not just cheap schlock.
There is a combination of factors figuring into the longevity of 3D in the 21st, not the least of which was the will of the studios to push digital projection and delivery of films. While implementing digital projection was a massive cost, once it paid for itself [courtesy of surcharges for digital 3D], shipping costs were profoundly reduced for the studios, since what was previously sent to theatres as a fragile, heavy 35mm print could now be delivered as a DCP on a hard drive. The studios were able to sell to exhibitors that they would be able to generate greater income with 3D and reduce costs by going digital. Think about it: less moving parts in a digital projector means less maintenance and less maintenance costs, and no need for union projectionists to assemble prints for platter systems and run most of the screenings. Also, interlocked screenings [the "old" way of running a single print on multiple screens, which can be fairly complicated] would be replaced by simply uploading the DCP to a central video server and play it on as many screens as you need. Good movies in 3D is simply a byproduct of the bigger picture. It's a lot easier to sell a film in 3D that can be played on practically every screen on a multiplex vs., say, The Hateful Eight and Dunkirk, for which mothballed 70mm projectors had to be pulled out of retirement for "event" screenings, and even then Tarantino and Nolan had to restrict those screenings to a handful of locations and deliver a DCP for the other theatres.

The modular nature of modern 3D is such is that if 3D wanes [which it is currently doing, much to my chagrin; I'm a 3D fan], the infrastructure can simply be moved out of the way, which interestingly was also the case with 80s 3D; in fact, Technicolor did announce a rollout of over/under 3D for theatres not equipped with digital projection. It wound up on 250 screens, but my guess is not for very long, since the only links that can be found are dated 2010: https://www.technicolor.com/news/technicolor-3d-launches-north-america-more-150-screens. Not surprising, given that Technicolor ultimately bought out the Optimax III system.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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I'm not going to cite specific titles because that just becomes an argument about opinion. Eye of the beholder, etc.

But do you really wanna claim that those are all good movies? That none of them are schlock? That they're all - or even the majority - remembered for reasons other than being "golden age 3D features"?

Really?
But since you couldn't even be bothered to educate yourself about how 3D films were presented theatrically, are we supposed to take your opinions seriously?

Really?
 

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