3-D Movies: Coming Back at You

The retro format has been reborn for the digital age. You still need the glasses, but it's a whole new experience

Illustration by Ellen Weinstein for TIME

The brick road wasn't just yellow. It was school-bus-parked-on-the-surface-of-the-sun yellow. That's because when The Wizard of Oz premiered in 1939, Hollywood was still testing its newest toy, three-color Technicolor, and studios wanted to astonish audiences with supersaturated hues.

Today Hollywood is looking to 3-D movies--now enjoying a digitally fueled renaissance--to make an impression as lasting as Dorothy's ruby slippers. The first feature films shot and shown in digital 3-D--bugs-in-space toon Fly Me to the Moon, Brendan Fraser's volcano-diving Journey to the Center of the Earth and concert movies by U2 and Miley Cyrus--leaped into moviegoers' laps this year. In 2009 at...

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