Chris Condon

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Chris J. Condon (1923 – December 19, 2010), born Christo Dimitri Koudounis, was the inventor of 3D lens used by his company StereoVision, a cinematographer, and founder of Sierra Pacific Airlines.

Life and career[edit]

He was born in North Chicago, Illinois. During World War II, he received four Bronze Battle Stars while working as combat crew and as a cinematographer on B-24 and A-26 aircraft in the Pacific.[1] Upon his death in 2010, he was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

After the war, he worked at Douglas Aircraft as a trainee before starting his own business in 1947, Century Precision Optics Company of North Hollywood, California. With the company, he developed the Tele-Athenar telephoto lens which was used by Walt Disney photographers in the True Life Adventures series.[1]

In 1953, he received his first patent for a 3D projection system.[1] The system replaced the previous method of using two cameras. His invention was inspired by the film House of Wax.[2]

He taught at Columbia College Hollywood from 1958 to 1960.[1]

He co-wrote the American Cinematographer Manual for the American Society of Cinematographers with Joseph V. Mascelli in 1963.[1]

In 1969, he and his partner Allan Silliphant received a patent for the world's first single-camera 3-D motion picture lens and formed the company Magnavision, which later became StereoVision Entertainment. After the success of soft X, eventually the 3D movie The Stewardesses was R rated.

In 1970, he and Silliphant founded Trans Sierra Airlines, later known as Sierra Pacific Airlines.[1] The airline continued to operate under several newer owners with a fleet of Convair prop-jets and Boeing 737 jets.

In 1972, he received a patent for a special widescreen 3-D camera lens for modern 35mm and 70mm reflex motion picture cameras.[1]

During the 1970s, his lenses were used in Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, Dynasty, and Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Chris J. Condon, Pioneer of 3-D". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  2. ^ Dore, Shalini (2010-12-20). "3D pioneer Chris Condon dies - Entertainment News, Film News, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  3. ^ Chris J. Condon - IMDb

External links[edit]