House of Wax is a 1953 American 3-D horror film about a disfigured sculptor who repopulates his destroyed wax museum by murdering people and using their wax-coated corpses as displays. It stars Vincent Price and was directed by André de Toth. It is a remake of Warner Bros.’ Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), without the comic relief featured in the earlier film. In 2005, Warner Bros. distributed a new film also called House of Wax, but its plot is very different from the one used in the two earlier films.
House of Wax was the first color 3-D feature from a major American studio and premiered just two days after the Columbia Pictures film Man in the Dark, the first major-studio black-and-white 3-D feature. It was also the first 3-D film with stereophonic sound to be presented in a regular movie theater. It premiered nationwide on April 10, 1953 and went out for a general release on April 25, 1953.
In 1971, House of Wax was widely re-released to theaters in 3-D, with a full advertising campaign. Newly-struck prints of the film in Chris Condon’s single-strip StereoVision 3-D format were used. Another major re-release occurred during the 3-D boom of the early 1980s.
In 2014, House of Wax was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.