San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

3-D Movies to Hit Select Theaters in January

If seeing two-dimensional films leaves you feeling flat, have no fear: a three- dimensional solution is arriving in Costa Rica in just over a week. According to Gloriana López, marketing director for film distribution company Romaly, Disney’s animated movie “Bolt” will open in 3-D at select Central Valley theaters Jan. 16.

The film, which has already opened in the United States, follows the story of Bolt, a canine TV superhero who believes his powers are real.

“I think it’s going to be a big success,” López said. “Many people haven’t had the opportunity to see a movie in three dimensions.”

Paseo de las Flores mall in Heredia, north of the capital, and Mall San Pedro and Terramall, both east of San José, will be the first 3- D movie venues to open in Central America, though there is an IMAX theater in Guatemala, according to López. It is estimated to cost about $100,000 to convert a regular theater into one that shows 3-D films, because of the special projector that is needed. Ticket costs accordingly will be higher, though López did not know by how much.

Part of the incentive to open the theaters is the growing tendency of film studios to release movies in 3-D in addition to the regular two-dimensional format. DreamWorks Animation announced in March that all of its films would be released in 3-D in 2009. However, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, recently told The Boston Globe that the economic crisis is slowing the company’s transfer to 3-D.

Currently, only 1,500 of the 36,000 theaters in the United States are capable of showing 3-D films, and theater owners are finding it difficult to borrow money from tightfisted banks to make the conversion.

Three-dimensional movies work by taking advantage of our brain’s trained ability to take in information from both of our eyes and combine them into one unified image. Older 3-D projectors worked with glasses that had one green and one red lens.

Now, a polarized 3-D digital movie projector beams two synchronized views onto the screen while special polarized lenses (distributed at the beginning of the film) separate the views, one entering in one eye and the second entering in the other. Your brain meshes these two images into one three-dimensional image.

López said 13 movies are already confirmed for 3-D release in 2009, including “Coraline,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Ice Age” and “Toy Story.” All of the films offered in 3-D will be dubbed in Spanish.


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