OSA Centennial Snapshots: New Visions of Movies

Patricia Daukantas

Faced with a bust in ticket sales after World War II, Hollywood pulled optics tricks out of its hat to lure moviegoers back into theaters with widescreen and 3-D spectaculars.

figureStockholm’s Vinterpalatset (Winter Palace) theater with its new Cinerama screen, 1958. [Background photo: Svensk Filmindustri / Wikimedia Commons; screen image: iStock; composite illustration: Alessia Kirkland]

In the early 1950s, Hollywood was under attack. Not from the Soviet Union, even though that country had joined the United States in the nuclear arms race. Not from U.S. “communists,” even though Sen. Joseph McCarthy was braying about them from Capitol Hill.

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