1953: Man in the Dark opens at the Globe Theater in New York City. It is the first 3-D movie released by a major Hollywood studio, beating The House of Wax to the screen by two days.
It took Hollywood a while to embrace 3-D technology -- the earliest known 3-D feature film, not made by a mainline studio, was The Power of Love in 1922.
Wheatstone's viewer, built using angled mirrors, contained two separate drawings mounted side by side, one for each eye. Using the stereoscope allowed the images to merge, giving the viewer the illusion of depth.
The same principle was applied much later to 3-D movies. The audience was provided with special anaglyph viewing glasses with different color lenses that created the same illusion of depth as Wheatstone's stereoscope.
Man in the Dark was a noir film starring Edmond O'Brien, a remake of the 1936 Ralph Bellamy movie, The Man Who Lived Twice. As 3-D it was underwhelming -- the climactic roller-coaster scene was described as flat -- and it apparently wasn't much of a flick, either, at least not to a New York Times critic who called it "a conspicuously low-grade melodrama."
Nevertheless, it got Columbia Pictures off the 3-D dime and began Hollywood's rather fitful relationship with the technology that continues to this day.