Saturday, September 11, 2010

Historic Lake Superior Scenes in 3-D at Soo Theatre Sep 18!

A time machine to visit the shores of Lake Superior in the 1870s? Well, maybe not, but Jack Deo’s 3-D show “Gems of Lake Superior” is the next best thing, and it will be presented at the Soo Theatre in Sault, Michigan, Saturday, September 18, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Deo, owner of Superior Views in Marquette, Michigan, has assembled a collection of stereoscopic images taken by the photographer B. F. Childs in 1872. Mr. Childs hired a Chippewa guide, and toured the big lake in a Mackinac boat, capturing scenic views along the way with his large and complex camera. These images were sold to the public and were intended for use in a stereo-opticon viewer popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thanks to a digitizing process now available, Deo can project them on a large screen so that spectators wearing 3-D glasses can enjoy them. In fact they may feel that they went along on that trip that took place almost one hundred forty years ago!

The show has been presented this summer to enthusiastic audiences in Marquette, Calumet, Duluth, Ashland, Wisconsin, and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Deo presents about 200 views, along with brief commentary. Scenes likely to be of special interest to Sault residents on both sides of the river include Native American camps at the rapids and Batchewana, the shipping canal (when there was only one lock), Montreal River, Gros Cap, and early Sault street scenes. Although not on Lake Superior, a few views of Mackinac Island will also be given in the Sault show, since the island is part of the neighborhood.

Speaking of the program, Deo said “Wearing 3-D glasses, this show lets you experience the depths of the mines, the heights of Thunder Cape, and a look through the caves of the Pictured Rocks. You will see breathtaking waterfalls and early views of the ships, mining camps, rivers and towns along the shore of Lake Superior. It’s art and history, too. Most early photographers were artists before taking up photography, so you’re going to see some incredible photographs.”

The matinee performance is at 2 p.m., and admission to that show will be free for students 18 years old and younger. (Children twelve and under must be accompanied by an adult.) This special admission is possible thanks to a grant from the Hudson Foundation of Sault, Michigan. The matinee show will include a few views aimed at a younger audience, but otherwise will be much the same as the 7:30 evening performance and thus adults may choose the time that fits their schedules best. Both shows will last about one hour.

Proceeds from the shows will benefit the two sponsoring organizations — the Chippewa County Historical Society, and the Soo Theatre Project. Adult admission is $10.00 for either show. Students 18 and under can get a free ticket for the matinee, or pay $5.00 for the evening show. All tickets will be available at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Soo Theatre Office and the Gift Shop at the Chippewa County Historical Society. Call 906-632-1930 for more information.

Stereo-optical image of Chief Kawbawgam

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