Few, if any readers of this post, would recall the advent of 3-D motion pictures back in the 1950s. During that era, moviegoers had the opportunity to see the latest innovation coming to the silver screen by wearing special viewing glasses for eye-popping excitement in 3-D. Most of the movies released in this format were science fiction or suspense.
There was a bit of a rebirth of 3-D films in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, but the fad was short-lived.
In 2009 we got a reminder of just how much fun a 3-D movie experience could be with the release of Avatar, a science fiction masterpiece that received rave reviews around the globe. Since then the big screen has had its share of 3-D releases - some good and some not so good - in an attempt to take the theater experience to the next level.
It’s been nearly 20 years since Quassy jumped on the 3-D bandwagon, but we haven’t been showing movies at the park. Instead, we put a unique twist on our traditional Independence Day fireworks display by offering guests the opportunity to buy 3-D Fireworks glasses.
So - you might ask- are the fireworks actually in 3-D? The answer is a straightforward ‘no.’
Let us explain in layman’s terms. If you’ve ever watched a motion picture projected in 3-D and taken the viewing glasses off, you will see a blurred image on the screen. It has to do with the way the film was shot using two cameras to create the 3-D effect. Today, 3-D effects can be added during editing processes on computers. The glasses put the image back into perspective, but giving us the illusion that things jump off the screen and into our laps.
As for our 3-D Fireworks, we put hundreds shells into the air that are – you guessed it – regular fireworks. The glasses we sell have diffraction lenses, which give the appearance of multiple fireworks explosions from a single shell. When a bunch of fireworks explode in the sky above at once – you guessed it – the 3-D glasses give you an eyeful. Even P.T. Barnum would have loved this.
What’s more important is that through the years a number of beneficiaries have been on the receiving end of our 3-D Fireworks spectacular – proceeds from the glasses sales go to them.
This year when we present our fireworks on July 3rd – yes the night prior to the holiday – the beneficiary will be Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla. The park has long supported the village, which is a nonprofit resort that provides week-long, cost-free wish vacations to critically ill children and their families from around the world who want to visit Central Florida. Some of the families that visit Give Kids The World are also hosted at Quassy.
Frankly, we’re pleasantly surprised that our 3-D Fireworks have had this longevity and we really have to thank our fans for playing along year-after-year.
No doubt, we’ll have another blast come July 3rd.