While the world gets more and more excited with the modern 3D technology, Russia has unshelved a series of homemade Soviet 3D films. Many of them were made as early as the 1940s.
The technology was different from what we have today. It was called stereo cinema and was created by a Soviet inventor Semyon Ivanov. Viewers needed no glasses. The illusion of depth and volume was created by means of a wire grid. People watched the film through it while their left and right eye saw two different images simultaneously.
Russian enthusiasts Nikolay Mayorov and Nikolay Kotovsky carefully restored some of the Soviet films originally made in the 1940s and 1950s. They were digitized and shown within the Moscow International Film Festival’s special program.
“We have all got used to hearing various legends that 3D cinema came to us from the United States,” Mayorov said speaking at the festival. “In fact, it came from Russia.”
Screenshot form In the Avenues of the Park Soviet movie (Image from www.moscowfilmfestival.ru)
It wasn't exactly 3D as we know it, but the first stereo-film was screened in St.Petersburg in 1911, four years earlier than a similar project in the USA.
Public screenings of 3D films began in Russia in 1941, with Concert or Land of Youth. Similar films began to appear in the USSR in the 1950s. A color film In the Avenues of the Park (1952) shows Moscow's Gorky Park in 1952, but the technology gives a very clear image as if the film was made in recently.
The work of the Russian enthusiasts is not yet finished as they plan to continue restoring Vintage Soviet 3D movies.