This mystery midnight horror show, which ran in late April, 1954, was, for all intents and purposes, despite a few stragglers and sequels, was the last 3-D feature to screen in the Island. I’ve yet been able to identify it properly, but my best guess is that it’s Warner Bros.’ Phantom of the Rue Morgue.
That makes it an even 20 features shown in the short-lived 3-D film movement of the 1950’s, which may not seem like a lot but more than I had expected to find because there were a lot of 3-D films that only played flat here in the hinterlands, including Kiss Me Kate, Those Redheads from Seattle, Dial M for Murder, Dragonfly Squadron, Taza: Son of Cochise, and The Moonlighter. And the reason for that, I think, is because until the Capitol showed Creature from the Black Lagoon only one of the three theaters had converted and were able to show stereo-scopic films properly. And when combining these technical issues, along with a non-standardized format, meaning every studio had their own 3-D process, and the advent of the more user friendly Cinemascope, easily explains why 3-D flattened out so quickly, not quite making it yearlong phenomenon.
If you’d like to know more about the successes and failings of 3-D I highly recommend Kevin Heffernan’s Ghouls, Gimmicks and Gold: Horror Films and the Movie Business and R. M. Hayes’ 3-D Movies: A History and Filmography of Stereoscopic Cinema. And that’ll wrap up our month long tribute to 3-D films. Hope you enjoyed ’em as much I enjoyed unearthing them. Also of note, I’ve got a couple of other projects that’ve been on the back-burner for too long, meaning the Morgue will be on hiatus for awhile, but updates should resume in a couple of weeks. Until then, stay cool, Boils and Ghouls.