Sports bar serves up 3-D entertainment

Aside from the living-room ambiance of leather couches, beaded lamps and black-and-white wall photographs, something sets South apart from the other crowded, trendy bars that line Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. The popular sports bar, located at 3001 Wilshire Blvd., has installed a groundbreaking 3-D setup, enabling patrons to watch sporting events in a novel way.

“We have been fortunate enough to team up with Vizio in marketing South as the first fully 3-D-capable bar in the country,” said Robyn Landrum, one of South’s four owner-operators.

According to a press release, Vizio has furnished the bar with 33 high-definition 3-D-ready televisions, ranging from 42 to 65 inches in size.

“We are really excited to have Vizio on board, and more excited that we get to share this technology with our patrons in a social setting,” said co-owner and operator Philip Boyd. “It’s the future of sports bars, and we’re a step ahead.”

South’s new televisions utilize Passive 3-D technology, which “provides viewers with a bright, crystal clear, flicker-free 3-D picture using battery-free, stylish eyewear,” as stated in the press release.

In contrast to Active 3-D, Passive 3-D is more suitable for operation in a bar because not only is the eyewear lightweight and less expensive, but patrons will be able to see multiple television screens in 3-D, without waiting for the picture to adjust.

South provides complimentary 3-D eyewear to all patrons who submit identification as collateral. According to Landrum, the unobtrusive 3-D glasses resemble stylish sunglasses.

In addition to showing sporting events on ESPN 3-D, the bar also holds 3-D movie nights, and showcases a 3-D gaming room equipped with Sony Playstations, according to Landrum.

According to Boyd, the 3-D programming shown at South is only limited by the number of 3-D channels currently available. At the moment, South’s provider, DirecTV, only offers five 3-D channels.

All televisions located throughout the bar are not continually on 3-D format. Those not tuned into 3-D programming display channels in standard 2-D high-definition.

According to both Boyd and Landrum, patrons have been markedly enthusiastic about the change.

“Business before the 3-D TVs came in was great,” Boyd said. “After the TVs, it has become phenomenal. I can only see us expanding from here.”

Santa Monica College alum Tedd Sievers, who frequently watches sports at South, expressed his excitement about the 3-D overhaul over a game of “Angry Birds” and a pitcher of beer.

“I think 3-D is fantastic,” Sievers said. “I can’t wait for it to be employed across the board, and I’m really looking forward to the day when we won’t have to wear the funky glasses.”