The 1920s: early adventures in 3D

Ever since audience members fled from an approaching train at the first public showing of the Lumiere brothers' new cinematograph in 1896, film fans have been fascinated by the prospect of watching moving images break out of the screen.

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The idea of making 3D movies began with the earliest days of cinema. Amazingly enough, the first ever commercial release of a 3D film happened as far back as 1922, with a ground-breaking feature called The Power of Love.

The movie used the so-called 'anaglyph' process to create its 3D images. This works by shooting two reels of film side by side, corresponding to the left and right eyes of the viewer. The two film reels were then printed in two different colours - green and red - and shown using a complicated dual-projector system.

To ensure that their left and right eyes saw the appropriate images, viewers of anaglyph movies had to wear special spectacles with one red and one green (later, cyan) lens to watch the 3D films. Even so, audiences were hooked.