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Is COVID-19 The Nail In The Coffin of 3D Cinema? (1 Viewer)

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SFMike

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As an avid 3D fan who has invested heavily in 3D technology for both home viewing and production I pose this question as pre-pandemic presentations of 3D film theatrical film conversions were getting rare in my area of the country (Northern California) and now that the theater chains are in deep financial trouble and film production has virtually stopped, will the 3D conversion industry survive in the post pandemic era? Since the video hardware industry decided to kill home 3DTV and promote 4K the studios have pretty much stopped releasing 3D blu-ray discs of films exhibited in 3D and surprisingly no major TV manufacturer, even in Asia, is producing any 3D capable displays although some projection systems still offer it. Home 3DTV is now completely dead in the eyes of the industry and only exists in a near non-existent niche home market no one except the great 3D Film Archive is catering to what is left of it. With theater distribution totally disrupted will the studios even consider in our devastated economy to ever again bother to convert a feature into 3D? Before you 3D haters chime in to say this is a good thing I just want to say that the level of excellent 3D conversions have been getting better all the time and had reached new heights as the popularity of screening the films have gone down and as someone who really enjoys the added value 3D adds to a production I hate to see it go.

Even with the the killing of 3DTV hardware by the manufacturers the slow but steady rise of Virtual Reality technology has given the presentation of 3D content a new platform to distribute and enjoy for the home viewer. Watching a 3D movie in a huge virtual 3D cinema in VR is an extremely satisfying way to get the best 3D quality without crosstalk or viewing angle/lighting problems one might find at home. The Big Screen movie sharing and viewing app is currently renting 3D films and the quality is excellent and will continue to improve as the resolution of VR headset displays become better and better. You can also rip and enjoy viewing your personal library of 3D blu-rays with many different excellent VR apps which has been a lifesaver to my 3D collection since my Sony 3D 4K monitor died and Sony has made it clear they have no intention of producing a replacement. But even with this new growing and again niche outlet for 3D films the question is will the studios spend the time and money to continue to create excellent 3D conversions for us to enjoy? I just thought I would throw this out here even though I think the answer is we are seeing the end of the 3D era until another generation discovers 3D again and promotes it. Or there is also the possibility that new VR style presentations or holographic techniques will be developed to create a whole new era of entertainment presentation to replace our current 2D flat screen media.
 

Paul Hillenbrand

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We'll have to see what happens.
Besides the 3D Film Archive releases, Covid-19 hasn't stopped Universal Studios releasing July 7, 2020 MOD U.S. 3D release of Trolls World Tour 3D, or the October 13, 2020 Shout Factory pre-order for Friday the 13th Part III 3D Blu-ray included in that collection.
 

KMR

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I have a hard time thinking 3D is gone for good. It always finds a way to make a big comeback every 20 years or so, like many other fads and fashion trends.
 

Dick

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In the UK, 3D is probably still as alive as it can be, considering the current pandemic and world market. I surely hope so, Michael, as I own 214 3D movies. But I also own a 65" LG OLED, the last model to include 3D technology and which also supports 4K. I've had it for 3 years and it gets a lot of use, so I can only hope it proves to be as reliable as, say, my 2005 Toyota Camry.
 

SFMike

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I own 214 3D movies. But I also own a 65" LG OLED, the last model to include 3D technology and which also supports 4K. I've had it for 3 years and it gets a lot of use, so I can only hope it proves to be as reliable as, say, my 2005 Toyota Camry.
I hope you have better luck than I had as my Sony 4K 3D set died after only two years and sadly I have no room for a projector. Luckily as mentioned above I have Virtual Reality headsets to enjoy my collection of 507 3D Blu-ray discs collected over the this now ending period of 3D resurgence started by digital theatrical 3D projection in 2009 and being killed by Covid-19 in 2020. It's been fun but I doubt I'll be round for the next resurgence of theatrical 3D if it ever returns. Sadly corporate thinking totally disregards niche markets looking for only a quick return on investment for shareholders in today's economy.

Dead TV.jpg

RIP SONY 75 Ultra HD 4K LED 3D HDTV XBR
We Hardly Knew You.
 

Jesse Skeen

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COVID-19 didn't seem to stop 3D Film Archive's latest fundraiser from taking in more than its initial goal- I gave generously because I'm in a very fortunate employment situation right now while others are out of work. The increased 2D showings of 3D movies in theaters, along with the exclusion of movable screen masking in new theaters and discontinuing using it in theaters already equipped with it were already my nails in the coffin for theaters even before this thing started. The theaters in my area are simply awful and I've just plain given up on them. It cracks me up when people say they hate wearing 3D glasses yet theaters are expecting them to wear face masks when they reopen- wearing a mask does nothing for the movie itself and I don't like wearing them in stores (I do anyways because it's still the right thing to do), so I'm certainly not going to go into a theater needing to wear one but watching a 2D presentation because some people hate the glasses.
 

SFMike

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I think the 3D Film Archive is fantastic but more of hobby and obsession than a big profit making endeavor and I love and support them for it. But even they are facing this new post 3DTV reality as they have reported that their next release "Dynasty" there will be an anaglyphic version produced.

"For Dynasty we are doing something unique which we call the Compatible 3-D Blu-ray format. Along with the superior 3-D Blu-ray discrete version used on all 3-D Film Archive releases, we will also be offering the feature in the red/cyan anaglyphic format. While anaglyphic is a compromised 3-D version compared to the official 3-D Blu-ray format (which will also be included), the anaglyphic version will allow anyone to view Dynasty in 3-D without the need for any special gear or expensive glasses. And as with all previous 3-D Film Archive releases, the 3-D Blu-ray format will also offer all the option of watching the feature in standard full color 2-D."

I too have had it with lousy theater presentations with pre-show annoying TV ads and dim projection lighting to save money. Our 4K TVs now have a superior picture to that found in most theaters and with a 70+ inch screen I think you get a close enough theater experience to make overpriced concessions and dim screens obsolete. [MODERATOR NOTE: Political comment deleted. No politics on HTF!]
 
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DaveF

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There’s already a coronavirus thread for the movie industry. And this one is going into politics by the seventh post. So I’m closing it down.
 
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