Movie theater owners have been caught routinely running 2D movies through dark 3D lenses, ruining the quality. And they refuse to talk about the apparently widespread problem. As if you needed another reason to skip the overpriced, advertising laden cinema.

At a spot check of a local AMC theater, the Boston Globe's crack investigative cineplex affairs unit found that polarizing 3D lenses were incorrectly being used to show regular movies on eight of the 19 screens, rendering the films hideously dark and colorless. Director Peter Farrelly recently went apeshit when said lenses were used to show his movie "Hall Pass" — at an official promotional screening, with Farrelly prominently in attendance. The lenses can strip out 85 percent of the available light.

The Globe's sources — "Deep Focus" and "Phantom Projectionist" — say the problem is with cheap theater company executives who do not want to pay for the hassle of changing out the 3D lenses, a process requiring "security clearances and internet passwords" and total camera shutdown if the device mistakes you for a criminal intruder of some sort. They also say the problem is widespread. Yet AMC, National Amusements, and Regal, along with lens/camera maker Sony, are all basically stonewalling on the issue. Your best bet as a moviegoer, other than simply staying home and watching Netflix, is to actively complain, a strikingly rare occurrence. " Look back at the projection booth," advises the paper. "If you see two beams of light, one stacked on top of the other, that's a Sony with the 3-D lens still in place." And a good reason to ask for a refund on your ticket.

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