3-D has had a long and tempestuous relationship with mainstream cinema. From its early days as a parlour attraction to its use as a gimmick in the huge Hollywood blockbusters now being made, the cinematic standardization of 3-D has always been in question due to its cycle of success and failure. By examining what factors influenced the decline of other film gimmicks—notably economics, technology, and psychology—and examining how closely 3-D is being affected by those same pitfalls, it is determined that 3-D is seeing yet another downfall. The reason for the consistent renaissance of 3-D
technology in particular is also considered, as the industry is doubtlessly using it as a stepping-stone for the development of cinema as a form of virtual reality.