February 2010

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Route 66, Chicago Motels and Hot Dogs featured on new View-Master® Reels from Wurlington Bros. Press

Wurlington Bros. Press has created three exciting new stereoscopic reels worthy of the best of the classic scenic View-Master® packets. You can travel down Route 66, eat at hot dog havens and enjoy the classic style of a roadside Chicago motel, all through the magic of View-Master® stereo reels.

These high-quality images are featured on classic white paper View-Master® reels packaged separately in a specially printed glossy heavy-duty packet with a handy tuck in flap. There is also an 8-page illustrated booklet in each packet with additional history, maps and expanded descriptions of each of the seven images featured on the reel. Each single reel (sold separately) features nostalgic roadside views in the Chicago area.

Apache MotelMotels of Lincoln Avenue - CH01
In the 1950s, Lincoln Avenue was the gateway to Chicago from the north. At the edge of the city, new auto “mo-tels” with the most modern amenities catered to auto travellers. Since then the little motels have fallen on hard times and many have been torn down. Several landmark motels, some featuring unique structural design, are still around and are now preserved in glorious 3-D.

"My favorite image on this reel has to be the Apache Motel," said 3-D Review editor Van Beydler. "The 3-D is superb and you feel like you can literally step into the image to walk down the street and check in to the motel."

Chicago Hot Dog Stands - CH02
Chicago is said to have about 1,800 independent hot dog stands, more than all franchised fast food chains combined.

Every neighborhood has its favorite local hangout, with a slightly different take on the classic Chicago hot dog, and its own unique look and style. If you can't make it to the Windy City to sample one of their delicious hot dogs, this View-Master® reel is the next best thing without mustard.

Route 66 in Chicago - CH03
"Many years ago, I worked with the late Skip Curtis, author of The Missouri U.S. 66 Tour Book, giving him several rare photos of Route 66 to use in a special edition of Show Me Route 66 Magazine," said Beydler. "At the time, I suggested the Route 66 Association should do a series of Route 66 View-Master® reels to document the classic structures still existing on the road." That project never materialized but Wurlington Bros. Press has taken the first step in the long journey down "America's Highway" by producing a reel titled, Route 66 in Chicago.

The most famous highway in America starts in the center of Chicago. For over 2,400 miles it winds west through little towns, plains, mountains and deserts, all the way to Los Angeles, California.

The first few miles of the journey zigzag down busy streets of Chicago. Here and there are old roadside businesses dating from the picturesque days of auto tourism along the Mother Road.

Wurlington Bros. Press specializes in Chicago related posters and the line of "Build Your Own Chicago" postcards. Build Your Own Chicago is a series of postcards that can be cut and assembled into miniature paper models of prominent Chicago landmarks. All postcards are designed and drawn by Matt Bergstrom.

To order these outstanding reels, visit the Wurlington Bros. Press Web site or use the information below to place an order.

Motels of Wurlington Avenue
$10 + shipping. ISBN 978-0-9843438-0-5

Chicago Hot Dog Stands
$10 + shipping. ISBN 978-0-9843438-1-2

Route 66 in Chicago
$10 + shipping. ISBN 978-0-9843438-2-9

Please include $1.75 per order for shipping cost. Send order and check payable to "Wurlington Bros Press" to:

Matt Bergstrom
3058 W. Lyndale #2
Chicago IL 60647

Editor's Note: I have always been extremely fond of hyperstereo 3-D images. Each reel has at least one hyperstereo image on it. These are among my favorites and I recommend you add these reels to your collection. We can't say enough about the high quality and attention to detail put into publishing these three reels. We hope to see "more of the past" in the future from Wurlington Bros. Press. Wurlington Bros. Press receives a "Must See 3-D™" Award for this fine 3-D collection.

 

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Avatar Amp Suit Maquette

Avatar Amp Suit Maquetee image.

Looking for collectible items from James Cameron's 3-D epic Avatar? Sideshow Collectibles launches its line of Avatar collectibles with the AMP Suit Maquette, created in conjunction with one of the film's special effects studios, Legacy Effects. Created directly from 3-D modeled by the team that created the 14-foot suit used during filming, the AMP Suit is a truly authentic scaled representation. Each piece is individually painted and finished, each with its own unique quality and detail that is the trademark of a handcrafted Sideshow Collectibles product.

Manufacturer's price for the AMP Suit maquette is $1,199.99. This is a limited edition of 500.

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Panasonic's 3-D Blu-Ray Player

Panasonic 3-D Blu-ray player.

Panasonic is one of the major players in the new push to 3-D and the company announced its first 3D Blu-ray player at CES 2010.

Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BDT350:

  • 3-D Blu-ray player.
  • PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus video processor.
  • Supports Panasonic's VieraCast streaming content portal, which will feature content from Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Netflix, Pandora and Twitter.
  • SD cart slot and USB port.
  • 14-second boot up time.
  • Wi-Fi ready; requires USB dongle (not confirmed whether or not this is included).
  • No release date or pricing announced.

3-D Blu-ray will likely require both a compatible HDTV and a new HDMI 1.4 cable, so the true cost of 3-D will be relatively high. There's also the issue of 3-D Blu-ray media, which will probably be scarce for all of 2010. With no manufacturers announcing pricing or release dates for 3-D Blu-ray players, it's also hard to get any idea of how the new players compare to regular units.

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National Stereoscopic Association 36th Convention is July 14-19 in Huron, Ohio

NSA 2010 Convention Logo designed by Andrea Shetley.The 2010 National Stereoscopic Association Convention is scheduled for July 14 through 19 at the Lodge of Sawmill Creek located in Huron, Ohio. The convention will feature a Stereo Theatre, workshops, trade fair, exhibits, meetings and banquets.

Sheldon Marsh and Wildlife Area borders the resort and offers trails to view and photograph flowers, wildlife and up to 300 species of birds. Several other nature preserves are located nearby. Cedar Point, one of the world's leading amusement parks with 17 rollercoasters and dozens of other attractions is just a 10-minute drive from Sawmill Creek.

Members of the National Stereoscopic Association received forms and flyers about the convention activities in the January/February 2010 mailing of Stereo World magazine. Details about the convention are also available on the NSA Convention Web page.

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Stereo World January/February 2010 Issue

Stereo World magazine's January/ February 2010 issue (Vol. 35, No. 4) is now available.

Featured in this issue:

  • John James Reilly - New Chronology, New Publishers of Reilly's Stereographs, New Bibliography, New Old and New Series.
  • The W1 - Under the Hood. A critical review of Fujifilm's 3-D digital camera.
  • Silverfish and Pinholes - An interview with Jayme Wilkinson.
  • Yuletide 3-D Thrill Ride. Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol takes flight in Z-Space.
  • OWL Stretching Time - An in-depth article about the OWL stereoscope included with the book A Village Lost and Found by Brian May and Elena Vidal.
  • A Stereoscopic Symphony of Horror - F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu 1922 classic returns in 3-D.
  • The Castle Stereos - Interior Views of the Smithsonian Institution.

Stereo World magazine is distributed to National Stereoscopic Association members as part of their membership. The National Stereoscopic Association is a non-profit organization whose goals are to promote research, collection and use of vintage and contemporary stereoviews, stereo cameras and equipment and related materials; to promote the practice of stereo photography; to encourage the use of stereoscopy in the fields of visual arts and technology; and to foster the appreciation of the stereograph as a visual historical record.

To find out how you can join the National Stereoscopic Association, visit www.stereoview.org.

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Michael Jackson featured in Grammys 3-D Tribute

This is it 3-D glasses.

American Paper Optics, LLC, along with Target and Sony, joined together with CBS to create a first-of-its kind, 3-D event for the 52nd Grammy Awards on Jan. 31. More than 14 million 3-D glasses were distributed to the public in what is being called the first 3-D tribute in history. Manufactured exclusively by American Paper Optics, the specialized 3-D glasses could be used to watch the music video for Michael Jackson's Earth Song. A portion of this song has been viewed by audiences, but never the full video and never in 3-D, promising to be an emotional highlight of this year's show.

Beyonce wearing 3-D glasses at the Grammys.American Paper Optics, who is also the optical supplier for 3-D DVD releases such as Coraline 3-D, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D and most recently, The Final Destination in 3-D, continues to push well beyond the "one billion 3-D glasses distributed" mark.

These billion plus specs have been distributed worldwide for multi-media promotions and events involving movies, magazines, television, web sites, theme park attractions, video games, and much more. APO mega-clients include Disney, National Geographic, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Warner Brothers, Crayola, Time Inc., TV Guide, VH-1 and Dreamworks.

American Paper Optics has no plans to slow down in 2010. With their massive manufacturing capabilities and specialized patented optics, APO was able to deliver the 14 million 3-D anaglyph glasses to more than 1,700 Target stores in less than three weeks. CEO and founder, John Jerit, was even surprised at the quick turnaround by his production team. "I thought I'd seen it all with the 130 million 3-D glasses we did for the Super Bowl in 90 days last year, but finishing 14 million glasses in 21 days is a manufacturing record for us."

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February Events at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography

3-D Center logoThe program schedule at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography in Portland, Oregon is now more regularized. The center will be opening either a new gallery exhibition or a new Stereo Theatre show each first Thursday.

In the Stereo Theatre
Feb. 4 through March 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.
International Stereoscopic Union
The second installment of the International Stereoscopic Union's digital compilation presents works selected by stereo clubs world-wide. Acting as both a 3D travelogue and digital art gallery, over a hundred images are presented from: Australia, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, UK, Boise, Washington, DC, Detroit, Minneapolis, and the Cascade Stereoscopic Club in Portland.

In the Gallery
Through Feb. 28
Sacred Sites by Dale Walsh
This is a selection of stereoscopic imagery of sacred urban and natural environments at times juxtaposed with their profane counterparts. It is a celebration of different perspectives, cultures and people. It is also an attempt to understand and learn from the other cultures. It is a search for meaning. It is connecting to something beyond one's own individual reality." - Dale Walsh

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. Call (503) 227-6667.

The 3-D Center of Art and Photography has regular monthly Stereo Theatre and 3-D Art Exhibitions. Open Thursday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. First Thursday (Free), 6 to 9 p.m. Admission for adults (over 15) is $5.

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It Came From Outer Space to Show in 3-D as Fundraiser for The 3-D Center

It Came From Outer Space poster art.The Hollywood Theatre at 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd. in Portland, Oregon is hosting a special anaglyph (red/cyan) screening of It Came From Outer Space as a fundraiser for the 3-D Center. Sure, Avatar excels in technical quality, but how often can one have the campy, nostalgic experience of seeing a 3-D classic from the 50s in a real movie theatre with the communal cheers and groans of a full audience adding to the fun factor?

The show is at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21. Admission is $10. No advance ticket sales. Tickets are only available at the box office on the day of show.

In the theatre before the screening, Ray Zone, a stereo artist and 3-D historian based in Los Angeles, will give a short presentation on the Evolution of 3-D Movies. Admission to the presentation is included with the movie ticket.

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Samsung Racing Ahead with Consumer 3-D HDTV

Female model looks at the Samsung 3-D TV.

Korean based Samsung Electronics are racing ahead with their plans and have just announced they have started mass production of 3-D LED and 3-D LCD screens for 40 inch, 46 inch and 55 inch full High Definition 3-D TVs.

“Recently, 3-D displays have captured the industry spotlight. Samsung Electronics aims to lead the global 3-D TV panel market in pioneering mass production for 3-D LED and LCD TVs” said Wonkie Chang, president of the LCD Business at Samsung Electronics in a company statement.

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Samsung 3-D Blu-Ray Player

Samsung BD-C6900 3-D Blu-Ray player.

When will the Samsung BD-C6900 3-D Blu-ray player become available? Some online reports say Amazon.com is taking pre-orders for the player.

Editor's Note: We couldn't find it on the Amazon site, though.

The Samsung BD-C6900 is fully compliant with the Blu-ray 3-D standard and also features Internet@TV suite with applications like Blockbuster, Netflix, Picasa, Pandora, VUDU, Twitter and so on. The player also sports integrated Wi-Fi and is fully-compliant with Blu-ray profile 2.0. Pricing is around $399 for the player.

The Blu-ray 3-D specification calls for encoding 3-D video using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all Blu-ray disc players. MPEG4-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50 percent overhead compared to equivalent 2-D content, according to BDA; and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2-D Blu-ray disc players. The specification also incorporates enhanced graphic features for 3-D. These features provide a new experience for users, enabling navigation using 3-D graphic menus and displaying 3-D subtitles positioned in 3-D video.

Blu-ray 3-D technology requires a high-definition television with 120Hz or 240Hz refresh rate along with active shutter glasses.

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Leonardo DiCaprio to narrate Hubble 3-D

Hollywood screen star Leonardo DiCaprio will narrate the space film Hubble 3-D according to Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. and IMAX Corp. announced.

A March 19 release date is scheduled for Hubble 3-D by the award-winning team behind Space Station 3-D and other successful IMAX space films, led by producer/director Toni Myers.

Hubble 3-D combines awe-inspiring IMAX 3-D footage shot in space with breathtaking, never-before-seen 3-D flights through Hubble imagery from the Orion Nebula to the far reaches of the cosmos.

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Avatar breaks $2 billion mark

Avatar poster art.Avatar ventured further into rarefied territory at the worldwide box office, surpassing the $2 billion mark days after it broke the record held by Titanic.

James Cameron's 3-D sci-fi spectacular grossed $2.039 billion after seven chart-topping weekends of release, according to distributor 20th Century Fox.

The film smashed the $1.843 billion record set in 1998 by the filmmaker's Titanic.

The News Corp.-owned studio declined to forecast where the film would end up, since it expected the Oscar nominations to spur a new wave of interest.

It did predict Avatar would break Titanic's North American record of $601 million. The film moved to $594.5 million after a $30 million weekend in the United States and Canada.

The international total stands at $1.45 billion after a $95 million weekend from 120 countries. It remained No. 1 in many of them, including France (sales to date: $134 million), China ($126 million), Australia ($84 million) and Brazil ($43 million).

The one caveat to the Avatar records is that sales are not adjusted for inflation, or that ticket prices were considerably higher for 3-D screenings.

Avatar is expected to figure prominently in the Oscar nominations, especially in the technical categories, but has been overshadowed during awards season by The Hurt Locker, a low-budget war film directed by Cameron's ex-wife. Kathryn Bigelow added another trophy to her collection at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Only six times in 62 years has the DGA winner not gone on to take the Oscar for best director.

Titanic received 14 nominations and won 11 prizes including best picture, director and editing for Cameron.

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King Kong to Return to Universal Studios Tour in Largest 3-D Exhibit in the World

Peter Jackson's King KongAfter nearly 19 months away from the spotlight, a new more grizzled and, definitely, ferocious, King Kong is preparing to return to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Since the old animatronic Kong was destroyed in a fire, Hollywood’s top visual effects wizards have been tinkering away in a giant hangar in Playa Vista to create a new, more realistic ape to terrify visitors who take the park’s signature back lot studio tour.

Inside the huge drab-green building, Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson has led a team of film and theme park ride experts in creating a 3-D version of the hairy ape to replace the Kong that died in the June 2008 fire.

The new Kong attraction, described by Universal Studios as the largest 3-D exhibit in the world, will open for the first time this summer at the height of tourist season.

If the new technology works as designed, park visitors will not only see Kong in three dimensions but will smell his banana breath, feel the gust of wind as he jumps over the guests and sense the ground shaking when the ape engages a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a life-or-death battle. The Kong attraction will be a stop on the park’s back lot studio tour ride.

During a recent preview of the technology, a dirty, battle-scarred Kong stared menacingly out from two 180-foot-long by 40-foot-tall screens that wrap around the tour trams. In another scene, a 35-foot-tall T-Rex steps over the trams and turns to the audience to bare its massive teeth.

"You are really going to be immersed in every part of the show," Universal Studios show producer Valerie Johnson-Redrow said during a preview for employees and advertising sponsors.

The new digital Kong represents the lastest trend in theme park attractions, including 3-D effects, holograms and pyrotechnics.

The new Kong replaces a seven-ton, 30-foot-tall mechanical ape built in 1986 and considered for many years to be one of the most complex animatronic figures in the world. The old Kong was also an icon, used by Universal Studios in commercials and ads to draw visitors.

After the fire, executives began forming plans to rebuild and improve the attraction. Park officials agreed that film technology had advanced much faster than robotics, and so decided Kong would return in digital form.

Theme park officials said the cost of the 3-D production will be more than six times the price of rebuilding the destroyed mechanical Kong.

"After the 2008 fire, we knew he had to bring him back to the back lot studio tour, and in a way never been experienced before," said Universal Studios Hollywood President Larry Kurzweil.

A 3-D King Kong was born long before the fire killed off the animatronic ape, though. After Jackson completed the 2005 Academy Award-winning film King Kong for Universal Pictures, some of his visual effects experts converted a short sequence from the movie into 3-D.

"We wish we had done the whole movie in 3-D," said Joe Letteri, the visual effects supervisor for the film.

Last year, park officials announced the partnership with Jackson to create the officially titled King Kong 360 3-D, created by Peter Jackson attraction.

The new ape will resemble the 2005 Kong, right down to the broken canine tooth and the scars over its right eye. Other creatures and scenes from the movie, including caves, giant bats and dinosaurs from Skull Island also appear on the four-story-tall screens.

"Guests on the studio tour will board a tram that will enter a 200-foot-long soundstage," said Johnson-Redrow. 3-D glasses are required for the 2 1/2 minute attraction.

The tram will stop over a "tram-mover" system, powered by massive air bags that will lift, shake and drop the tram, giving guests the feeling of being jolted during the battle between Kong and the T-Rex. The 180-foot-long screens curve around the tram so the 3-D images seem to surround the viewers. A system of fans, sprayers and other devices in the building will spew park visitors with air, water and odors to bring the images to life.

The few test scenes shown during a preview were taken from the 2005 King Kong movie but Johnson-Redrow said tour-takers will see original material, created by Jackson, specifically for the attraction.

"We are going to bring you to Skull Island right in the middle of a knock-down, drag-out fight with a T-Rex," she said.

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Auction Results

View-Master steel sign with rust.

A vintage steel View-Master® advertising sign sold for $160.09 with seven bids. This sign was discovered in a photography shop that was closing up after more than 100 years of business. The sign looks like a giant View-Master® reel with the suggestion to "Take Your Vacation Home" by having your film developed into "3-Dimensional color pictures." The round sign measures 4 ft. across. There is major rust damage at the top of the sign.

View-Master Superman poster

A GAF View-Master® store advertising poster dated 1970 sold for $6.50 with two bids. This great poster was for dealers of View-Master®s to hang in their stores and the one in this sale was never used. The sign was for these new exciting releases including Superman Meets the Computer Crook, ABC Wide World of Sports Baseball Little League World Series and Nanny and the Professor. This super sign measures 37-inches long by 15-inches tall. It is folded in two places, in between each scene so each scene is in beautiful shape.

View-Master® 1972-73 catalog

View-Master® catalog

View-Master® catalog

View-Master® Admaker Kit

A View-Master® 1972-73 Catalog and View-Master® Admaker Kit sold for $20.51 with three bids. The rare photography / camera collectible in this sale included three dealer catalogs for GAF products including View-Master® and other photography equipment. The first GAF catalog is dated 1976 and has everything from personal pocket cameras, Hush-a-matic slide projector, XL-1123 Movie outfit, Super 8 sound movie projector, Silent movie cameras, Pana-vue projector viewers and tons more in a hard cover, 3-ring binder. The second dealer catalog is dated 1972-1973 containing 48-pages of beautiful colored pictures and descriptions of View-Master® products including Talking View-Master®s, 3-reel packets, the View-Master® Klomp-it game, Wonderful World of Disney display stands, floor displays, film, cameras and more. Last is a 1972/73 View-Master® Admaker kit full of pictures, prices and other information for making advertising flyers and newspaper ads.

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