Italy Lowers Age of Use for 3D Glasses as US Continues to Avoid Restrictive Legislature

AP Photo/Akira Suemori

UPDATED: Italian moviegoers no longer have to be six years old to take in the extra dimension.

ROME – A Rome-based administrative court ruled this week that children aged three and up can attend films that require the use of 3D glasses, lowering the minimum recommended age and overturning an appeal from the consumer group Codacons.

Previously, moviegoers in Italy had to be at least six years old to use 3D glasses. In 2010, ANEC, the National Association of Film Exhibitors, requested the minimum recommended age for the use of 3D glasses be lowered, citing studies that showed now additional risks to the vision or health of moviegoers aged three to six if they used the glasses.

But the Italian Ministry of Health said the issue needed more study, and Codacons appealed to have the motion blocked.

But the administrative court ruled Wednesday that the minimum recommended age should indeed be lowered to three. The decision, which was published Friday, will go into effect immediately.

Cinema operators showing 3D films will not be responsible for verifying the age of their youngest patrons. They must only make the warning visible; the child’s parents or guardian must make the decision whether a specific child should be allowed to don the glasses.

The notion of an age limit appears to be unique to Italy. There is no such rule, or any discussion about imposing such a rule, in the United States, according to Patrick Corcoran, director of media and research at the National Association of Theatre Owners.

“We wouldn’t set a rule like that,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that he is not aware of such recommendations being used outside of Italy.

Both in the US and aboard, questions have been raised in cinema circles about the potential impact of 3D viewing on children’s eye. To date, limited research has been conducted.