Just because an art form became widely known during a particular decade doesn't mean, of course, that that was the exact time in which the art form magically came to be.
Art, like love, requires a bit of a run-up before things start to get good.
Look at 3-D film, which summons the 1950s to mind for many movie lovers. The lurid monster matinees of the era helped the don-your-glasses film format rocket to greatness, and today we picture audiences in bouffants and suits, watching swamp creatures creep about in multiple dimensions.
But the first 3-D film flickered before audiences in June 1915, over a third of a century before 3-D's heyday. June 10 was the date, and people at New York's Astor Theatre were treated to the first anaglyph film. (Update: Polarized 3-D, a leap in technology for the format, arrived in January of 1936).
The Aero Theatre wants to mark this momentous movie occasion, not by transporting us back to the Astor Theatre -- which, truly, would have been something to see, as much for the audience's reaction as the images on screen -- but to the Golden Age of 3-D Cinema.
The 3-D treats shall flicker in honor of the 100th anniversary of 3-D at the historic Santa Monica movie house from June 11 through June 14. (Update: The Golden Age films will be shown in Polorized 3-D, a "superior system" shares Bob Furmanek of the 3-D Film Archive.)
Mr. Furmanek, by the by, reveals that the Aero will premiere the in-depth "3-D Rarities" on June 11 (and perhaps serve to dispel a few myths and misunderstandings about the widely loved format along the way, though you can get to the bottom of those here).
Yes, absolutely, "House of Wax," the most famous film of the form, is on the weekend schedule, as are "Kiss Me Kate," "Miss Sadie Thompson," "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," "The Bubble" and "The Mad Magician." "Dial M for Murder" -- Hitchcock in 3-D! -- and "The Inferno" are on the bill, too, and some 3-D rarities.
Your full schedule, which is not in stereoscopic view, is here.
Some of the flicks might appeal to youngsters who only know 3-D to involve the chunky plastic glasses handed out before the show and state-of-the-art CG.
Is it time they experienced the form's early adventures, when occasional red-blue overbleed gave the film in question extra character and pizazz? And, of course, beautiful Polarized 3-D is not the much earlier anaglyph 3-D, with that whole red-blue or red-green color scheme.
Though "red-blue" and "red-green" isn't quite correct, we know, dear 3-D purists: The colors are red and cyan. Classic trivia question.
But that still doesn't answer how the legendary "House of Wax" paddleball seems to fly off the screen straight for our faces!
3-D, making magic for a solid century. Props and happy first century.