Epsilon Spires to screen pair of 3D films as part of its Backlot Cinema series

BRATTLEBORO — On Friday, June 11, the parking lot of Epsilon Spires will transform into an open-air movie theater for the second installment of the 2021 Backlot Cinema Series.

The evening features films that use anaglyph 3D technology, a process of combining images tinted red and blue to create a stereoscopic effect when viewed with special glasses.

Programming Director Jamie Mohr said in a news release that she was inspired by how 3D films “allow the audience to actively participate in the cinematic manipulation of their perception.”

In the context of this event, she was also drawn to how “3D embodies the fun, nostalgic charm of the drive-in experience.”

First created in the middle of the 19th century, anaglyph 3D has been used in films as early as 1889. The method experienced a period of marked popularity in the 1950s, when campy classics like It Came from Outer Space and Creature from the Black Lagoon were filmed in anaglyph 3D.

Even Alfred Hitchcock gave the technique a try, originally releasing Dial M for Murder in that format.

The Mask (1961) is a later example of the cult-classic anaglyph tradition. Described in the original theatrical trailer as “the weirdest nightmare world that man has ever dreamed or the screen has ever dared show,” the surrealist horror film follows a man who finds a mysterious mask that causes hallucinations which slowly drive him insane.

When the man puts the mask on in the movie, the audience is instructed to don their red and blue glasses - referred to as “miracle movie masks” - to experience his episodes of delirium in three dimensions.

A more modern contribution to 3D cinema is award-winning director Richard Pell's Codex Entropia (2021), a short film commissioned by the University of Pittsburgh for its exhibition “Art's Work in the Age of Biotechnology.”

In Codex Entropia, Pell repurposes historic stereoscopic imagery of western Pennsylvania laborers to create a sci-fi-influenced narrative about a lost civilization, reconstructed from the coded information left behind in a mysterious stone structure called the “entropic deposit.”

In the event of inclement weather, the screening will take place in a socially distanced manner in the Sanctuary of the church.

Refreshments will be available from Madame Jo's crêperie, operated by Johanna Gardner of Trollhaugen Farm in Newfane. Drinks and restrooms will be available throughout the evening.

Tickets for the Backlot Cinema range between $10 and $12 depending on the size of your party, and $2 of each ticket goes directly to the restoration and maintenance of the historic church that houses Epsilon Spires. The price of admission also includes a pair of anaglyph 3D glasses and a raffle ticket to win gift certificates from local businesses.

To purchase tickets, and for information about upcoming screenings in the Backlot Cinema Series, visit

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