This blog aims to share my thesis research on stereoscopic cinema. I will regularly write down my thoughts and discuss a topic from one of the following categories: technical issues, stereoscopic 'correspondances' (this is directly related to my thesis), S3D films reviews, the history of French stereoscopic cinema … and more!

Here are information I found on auto-stereoscopic cinema.

Auto-stereoscopic cinema

Ray Zone mentions French Woman Suzanne Carre’s system: « a reciprocating grid made of wires or rods placed in front of a conventional motion picture screen and moving rapidly back and forth » [1] in sync with the projector. He doesn’t give more detail about Suzanne Carre’s invention and it is the only time I read about Suzanne Carre.

French man François Savoye is the famous one who took an interest in auto-stereoscopic projection and was successful.

Around 1942, he invented a system that was built on a grid in the form of a truncated cone revolving around the projection screen. He named his system the Cyclostéréoscope. He continued his research to make the system working on a larger screen and to make it lighter. François Savoye’s Cyclostéréoscope was shown to an audience at Luna Park in Paris just after World War II, in 1945-1946. The system had two wheels at the top to make the grid rotate. One was made of smelting works matter, that is the reason why at that time, the system was still quite heavy: the grid and rotating system weighed about 500kg. A single projector was needed to project stereoscopic 3D films thanks to a single-strip stereo system. Right and left images, 11 by 15mm, turned 90 degrees, were printed on 35mm film. A prism permitted to put the images back in the right position.

In 1953, François Savoye managed to install his Cyclo-stéréoscope at Clichy Palace film theatre in Paris. The hole system was 11m (about 30ft) high and didn’t weigh more than 1500kg. The diameter of the grid in the form of a truncated cone was 11m, revolving around a 7m×4,60m silver screen. The screen dimensions was François Savoye’s success: Russian man Semyon Ivanov also tried to build a similar system, but the largest screen he managed to build was only 3m (10ft) large.

François Savoye’s Cyclostéréoscope allowed the audience to see the S3D film without glasses in an optimal viewing zone limited to an angle of forty degrees. According to François Savoye, his system didn’t need the audience to stay still [2]. I have not found anything about how long the Cyclostéréoscope ran at the Clichy Palace, nor what kind of films were projected. However, we can easily imagine that the constricted viewing zone (that is still the main issue for auto-stereoscopic displays) didn’t make François Savoye’s invention financially viable for every film theatre.

[1] ZONE Ray (2007), Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film, Lexington, University Press of Kentucky, p. 167.

[2] BLOCH MORHANGE Jacques (1963), TV Show: Page Spéciale « Les Sciences », Interview of François SAVOYE and Fred ORAIN, duration: 8mn46s, March 20th, 1963. available: (in French)


FUNK Walter (2012), « History of Autostereoscopic Cinema », Proc. SPIE 8288, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XXIII, 82880R (February 9, 2012). available:

SAVOYE François (1952), « Le ‘Cyclostéréoscope’, procédé de cinéma en relief à vision collective directe sans lunettes », Atti e Rassegna Tecnica della Società degli Ingegneri e degli Architetti in Torino, vol.6, December 12th, 1952, pp. 421-424. available: (in French) or download here: Savoye_Cyclostereoscope_Torino

TIMBY Kim (2001), ‘Images en relief et images changeantes – La photographie à réseau lignés’, Études photographiques, (9), pp.124-143. available: (in French)

« Une grande salle de Paris va lancer le cinéma en relief sans lunettes » in: Paris Match (French weekly magazine), (298), May 15th to 22nd, 1954. available: (in French)


Comments on: "French Autostereoscopic Systems (Part II)" (1)

  1. […] the same as for photography and cinema projection (cf. French Autostereoscopic Systems (PartI) and (PartII)). As a consequence, to enlarge the viewing area, you need to multiply the number of  views. This […]


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