International Stereoscopic Union


The 14th ISU Congress
Besançon, France
th May to 2nd June 2003

The 14th ISU Congress was held in Besançon, a very old city located at the foothill of the Jura mountains, primarily built in a loop of the river Doubs. The narrow southern end of this loop is closed by a steep hill on which a big citadel was built, allowing the city to grow during the middle ages.

The city developed during many centuries within the river loop, but started to extend out the loop in the 18th century, and is now a medium size city (120,000 inhabitants) with a world wide famed industry (watches, electronics, precision mechanics. and a first rank university.

Besançon was the birthplace of many great people, such as the poet and novelist Victor Hugo (1802) and the philosopher Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809), and, more interesting for us, the brothers Auguste (1862) and Louis (1864) Lumière, who created the cinema, the stereo cinema, the colour photography (autochromes) and the "photostéréosynthèse", a process for making stereo pictures which can be viewed without special glasses.

left: Stephen O'Neil, the retiring President, makes an announcement at the Congress Banquet.








below: Susan Pinsky draws a raffle ticket for Pierre Lecoeur to call out, and then spots the winner! 

The congress was held at the "Kursaal", built in the core of the city in 1892, as a circus with a brasserie and gamble rooms. The business did not work long, so that the city bought the building and started restoring it in 1980. They decided to use it for public shows by the city and by other cultural societies.

Following a showing of slides from the ISU Country Circuit, Shab Levy explains from the projection position in the gallery how the circuit operates.

Some of the Simda projectors for 2 x 50 x 50 slides can be seen behind Shab.

There is an auditorium with 300 seats, but this one was supposed to be too small for our stereo projections, it will be used for new technology 3D shows such as cinema, video, computer animation... In the gallery around this auditorium, 3D images such as SIRDS, holograms, anaglyphs, lenticulars, were displayed.


A twin rig in action at the Royal Salt Works, and some delegates discussing the architecture...

The stereo projections were held in the upper large (26 meters diameter) and finely decorated (19th century paintings on the ceiling) room. Three other large rooms (over 1000 sq ft each) were used for equipment and image shows, and two smaller ones (600 sq ft each) for workshops and meetings. There was also a bar for drinks and rest.

Most congress visitors stayed at the many hotels within a walking distance from the Kursaal (500 rooms in the 2 and 3 star range), and many small or larger restaurants with tasty regional cuisine all over the old city allowed casual dining. Other hotels (also 500 rooms in the 2 and 3 star range) located in the suburbs were used for the remaining visitors.

Besides a very wide range of stereo slide shows, the congress included a full-day excursion and several shorter guided tours in the historic city, in the Museum of Time which is presently under restoration, and in the Citadel. These excursions were excellent opportunities for making original stereo pictures to take home.


International Stereoscopic Union
8008 Zurich

Phone: +41 (44) 508 1024