Stuck in 2-D During a 3-D Craze

If there's one thing I love about going on a Maine vacation with my family, it's heading to the movies. The local theater's admission cards are ripped from a wheel of repurposed raffle tickets; the previews are slideshows of local homes and wildlife, and the movies are invariably a week (or three) behind urban America's release dates.

But what's endearing in the slowest summer dog days is pretty infuriating during the rest of the year. When Pixar's 3-D extravaganza Up hit U.S. theaters last weekend, the Associated Press reported that "[i]n Maine, you can count on one hand the number of theaters that showed [the film] in 3-D." And it's not unique to northern New England, though the deficiency is particularly glaring there (RealD and Dolby Digital told the AP they've equipped only 6 theaters for 3-D capability in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine combined). Many privately owned movie theaters in remote areas across the country are struggling to keep apace with Hollywood's hot new 3-D trend, as it costs about $100,000 to upgrade to the technical standard. And if cinema owners can't accomodate the upgrade, theatergoers (like those interviewed in the AP's story) will travel to places that do.