Adventures in 3-D: A Nostalgic Trip Back to My First Cinematic Thrill

What was your first 3-D movie? I am going to take us way back to 1984. Let me explain: My first 3-D movie experience was Hot Heir AKA The Great Balloon Chase, by North Carolina film legend Earl Owensby. Earl was a bit of a local legend and refused to play by Hollywood’s rules. He wanted to make his movies on his own terms and in a nutshell said This particular movie included my parents as extras in a quick scene at a Holiday Inn of which we received free tickets to view at a local premiere of the film (I wish I could remember which theatre. It may have been the Flick which is now the Don Gibson Theatre in Shelby, NC.)

My entire family was there. This was THE event of the century. “A big time filmmaker here in Shelby?” I remember constantly pulling the glasses on and off to compare the difference of the 3-D effect with the glasses on and the superimposed double image of red and blue while the glasses were off. As a result I became briefly obsessed with anaglyph 3-D and still have a great compilation of “3-D Magazines” from the 1980s in my art book collection. Side note: One of my older cousins dated the film’s director, Worth Keeter during this time. 

Many years ago while starting up a film festival in my home town with entertainment journalist and film guru Noel T. Manning II, I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting Owensby. The film festival was inspired by Owensby’s filmmaking tenacity and he was gracious enough to let us tour his studios including a bunch of his 3-D film equipment and special screening room. He event lent us some movie posters and props for the film festival opening. It was such a surreal blast meeting the one and only Earl Owensby years later (thank you Noel!) I will also never forget my first 3-D experience thanks to Dad. That balloon chase in 3-D really is pretty epic!

Add 3-d sprinkles,


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