Movie studio executives worried that the new medium, television, would steal away their audiences. What was required was a hook to bring people back into the movie theatre. As the strippers sang in "Gypsy," you gotta have a gimmick.
Even though 3-D movies had been around as far back as 1922 and had lost favor, it was decided to try again. Arch Oboler's "Bwana Devil" started the 3-D craze of the 1950's. It premiered on Nov. 26, 1952 and starred Robert Stack, Barbara Britton and Nigel Bruce.
People were issued glasses, which facilitated the 3-D effect. Previously, 3-D used the anaglyphic process and those glasses were the red and green ones. This distorted the whole film by discoloration. Enter Polaroid and a newer system called Natural Vision. Polaroid glasses were nearly clear and so did not detract from the viewing experience.
At first industry experts predicted that 3-D would do for movies what the "talkies" had done. Some surprising titles were filmed in 3-D, such as Hondo, Kiss Me Kate and Dial M for Murder. But often their 2-D versions outsold the 3-D, and the industry got the big hint.