Cinema-goers say they were forced to wear their 3D glasses upside down, after a special screening of Swan Lake in Ashford left them disappointed.
What should have been a modern interpretation of a classic ballet soon turned to farce, after viewers claim the 3D effect was not working.
Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece was meant to have been given a modern flourish when Russia’s leading ballet outfit, the Mariinsky company, were beamed live into the Cineworld cinema at Ashford's Eureka leisure park.
Using technology created for the film industry, used in blockbusters including Avatar, Hugo and Life of Pi, the ballet should have jumped out at viewers.
But due to an unknown technical hitch the unique performance, screened on Thursday, June 6, fell flat, leaving cinema-goers disappointed.
A solution was found when one bright spark in the audience suggested that they turn their 3D glasses upside down.
Charing resident Anita Gudge (pictured right), who attended with her husband Dennis, said: “When we first put on the glasses, I thought, this is not impressive at all.
“But then this guy came back into the cinema during the second interval and shouted to the audience that it works better with the glasses on the wrong way.
“It was quite funny, people in all the rows were laughing and turning their glasses one way, and then the other, but it really worked.
“I was blown away - violins were jumping out of the screen. But it was over halfway through by the time we got it working.
“I don’t know if it was a bad batch of glasses, with the lenses upside down. One guy in the row behind us who seemed to know about 3D said that they might have got the left hand and right hand cameras round the wrong way.
“People were complaining as they left the cinema, and asking for their money back.”
In response to the complaints, Cineworld say that the lack of 3D punch was not due to a malfunction, but rather the subtlety of the effect used on the production.
A spokesman for the company added: “There were no problems with the 3D effects during Cineworld Ashford’s live screening of Swan Lake last Thursday.
"Our live event screening of Swan Lake used only a subtle 3D effect to enhance the viewing experience.”