To program a 3-D festival, you have to be one part cineaste, two parts Sherlock Holmes. In its 1950s heyday, Hollywood shot exactly 50 3-D films, a few by the greatest auteurs of the era — Alfred Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk — and the rest by schlock pioneers. Of those, the World 3-D Expo has tracked down 43.

“The goal was to run all of them,” fest founder Jeff Joseph says, “but some don't exist anymore.”

Even films the expo has shown before, like the ferociously goofy 1953 sci-fi Cat-Women of the Moon, have since turned to vinegar (the fest has been done twice before, in 2003 and 2006). Which means the nine-day event, which runs Sept. 6-15 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, cannot be missed.

The 3-D program stretches from astonishingly early 1922 documentary footage of D.C. and Manhattan to a rarer-than-you'd-think projection of 1983's Jaws 3-D, with Lou Gossett Jr. in attendance. (“I'm not saying it's one of the best films in the expo, but it's a movie that audiences love,” fest co-producer Dennis Bartok chuckles.)

Other rarities include a once-lost Russian version of Robinson Crusoe on a print so fragile, even Joseph and Bartok haven't seen it. Join them at the fest as these sleuths enjoy their detective work for the first — and possibly last — time. 

2013 WORLD 3-D FILM EXPO | Egyptian Theatre | Sept. 6-15 |

LA Weekly