At the end of World War II, as America embarked upon an unprecedented period of economic growth and expansion, the movie industry was in the midst of a slump. Ticket sales fell dramatically between 1946 and 1956. To try and buck this trend, several widescreen innovations were developed. CINERAMA, the first, debuted in 1952, followed by CINEMASCOPE -in 1953- VISTAVISION -in 1954- and TODD-A-O -in 1955.
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A freaked-out film industry would use several innovative big screen innovations to compete with the small screen TV medium. These were as follows;

*CINERAMA. A widescreen format introduced with the September 30, 1952 showing of "This Is Cinerama". Originally, three cameras, three synchronized projectors and a huge, curved screen were used. At first, existing theaters were converted to the Cinerama format. By the 1960s, a single projector format had been perfected. Cinerama-capable venues were built at shopping centers such as WINROCK CENTER {Albuquerque} (October 1963) and SHARPSTOWN CENTER {Houston} (May 1965). The final Cinerama venue, at SOUTHCENTER MALL {Tukwila, Washington}, was dedicated in April 1970.

*CINEMASCOPE. Also a widescreen format, it premiered, September 16, 1953, via Twentieth Century Fox's "The Robe". Cinemascope used a single camera, projector and an anamorphic lens to produce a widescreen image. A wider screen was also necessary for Cinemascope features.

*VISTAVISION. Paramount Pictures' brand of widescreen film presentation premiered with the first showing of "White Christmas", on October 14, 1954. VistaVision also used a single camera (with modifications), a single projector and a screen wider than the conventional model.

*TODD-A-O. The fourth major widescreen format of the 1950s premiered October 11, 1955 with Twentieth Century Fox's "Oklahoma!". This format utilized a wider film negative (70mm) than did CINERAMA, CINEMASCOPE and VISTAVISION (whose films were shot on conventional 35mm filmstock). Theatrical presentation of TODD-A-O required a single projector and widened movie screen.

*3-D. The first practical showing of a three dimensional film took place November 30, 1952, with the premier of the independently-produced "Bwana Devil". The 3-D process created the illusion of depth perception, via two projectors equipped with special polarizing filters and the disposable anaglyph glasses worn by viewers.

*STEREOPHONIC SOUND. Walt Disney Studio's "Fantasia" premiered with a stereo soundtrack in November 1940. However, it was the September 1952 showing of "This Is Cinerama" that introduced the first practical application of a motion picture with a stereophonic soundtrack.