It’s nearly every devout Catholic’s dream to visit the Vatican at some point in their lives, and experience firsthand the majesty of its art collection. Generally regarded as the greatest art collection on earth, the Vatican’s holdings include such wonders as Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.

A new documentary showing at 7 p.m. tonight in movie theatres nationwide (including several in Los Angeles, Burbank and Beverly Hills, all listed below), “The Vatican Museums 3D,” offers art aficionados and the faithful alike the best view of the massive galleries ever committed to film. Produced by SKY Productions and presented to theaters by the event cinema marketing and distribution company SpectiCast, the film marks the first time Ultra HD 4K/3D film cameras have ever been allowed inside the Vatican’s collections.

A team of 40 professionals using the highest-end 3D techniques guide viewers through paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh, along with sculptures by Michelangelo alongside the works of Raphael, Caravaggio and Salvador Dali. After the 70-minute film, viewers will be shown a 22-minute behind the scenes documentary depicting the challenges and successes involved in making the film.

Cosetta Lagani, producer of “The Vatican Museums 3D,” took some time to answer a few questions for The Tidings about the making of this visually stunning and spiritually inspiring movie.

Q: How did the idea for doing the movie in 3D come about?

A: As Sky 3D channel director, I developed a very clear opinion that the application of 3D to the documentary represented an enormous step forward and could really push the entire genre to a whole new level. 3D really adds another layer to the viewing experience. We had great examples of 3D applied to naturalistic documentaries (such as Sir David Attenborough’s docs or BBC and National Geographic productions) and some documentaries on the world’s most beautiful places. But there was nothing about art and culture, which is a pity, considering how 3D could add value to the experience of watching a sculpture, an architectural beauty and even a fresco (if dimensionalized with advanced 3D techniques applied in post-production). We decided to apply this ultimate technology to a kind of documentary to which it had never been applied before, an all-time first by Sky Italia: the artworks (statues, frescos, paintings and so on) contained in one of the most visited museums in the world: the Pope’s Museums.

Q: Did the Vatican seem more, or less, interested because it was a 3D shoot?

A: The project caught the interest of the directorate of the Vatican Museums because we proposed to shoot it in 3D. It was the first 3D documentary on the Vatican Museums. The 3D would have guaranteed an immersive and realistic, unprecedented experience. (You could convey the feeling of crossing the corridors and halls of museums, petting the works they contain and soak in the frescoes). Moreover, the technological leverage represented by 3D would have allowed to approach and make the museums known to a wider and younger audience. 

Shooting techniques in 3D are very different. You have to prefer the slow and contemplative and subjective, and it is necessary to have a professional on the set actually born for 3D productions — a stereographer. We must consider that the setting of 3D cameras also means the time required to synchronize ‘eye’ of the two cameras. So compared to 2D, it is definitely a production that is technically slower and ‘heavier’ but the added value of this technology to the viewing experience is unprecedented

Q: Have you ever made a movie or TV show before about the Vatican’s art, and can you tell about your background in that area? How was this project different, if it was?

A: “Vatican Museums 3D” was my first real project of places or events of the Vatican. Before this, we had made ​​a short special on the Sistine Chapel in 3D for testing purposes. Following the completion of the 3D documentary about the Vatican Museum, in collaboration with the Vatican, we continued with other projects in 3D innovative and high-added value. These projects included the Vatican Television Center, the first ceremony of the Pope in 3D at the canonization of 27 April (transmitted in 3D not only on television but also in more than 1,000 cinemas in the world) that gave the opportunity to all the faithful of the world to live the live ceremony with the feeling of being present in St. Peter’s Square (thanks to 3D), and a 3D documentary, which starts from the canonization to deepen the three stars of the Popes that was presented at the International Film Festival of Rome. Also, the Vatican Television Center will capture the first Christmas Mass in 3D live from St. Peter’s Basilica, and we are evaluating a project on the basilicas of the Pope in Rome. 

Tickets for the presentation of THE VATICAN MUSEUMS 3D are available at participating theater box offices and online at and The event will be presented in more than 500 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom Event’s Digital Broadcast Network and the SpectiCast Network. (Theaters and participants are subject to change.) Additional shows are scheduled for certain theaters Dec. 11 and Dec. 14; check the link to see if any do so in the Los Angeles area. 

Los Angeles area theaters showing it at 7 p.m. tonight are:  

 Regal LA LIVE Stadium 14

1000 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 + Xtreme

4020 Marlton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Universal Citywalk Stadium 19

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Burbank 16

125 E. Palm Ave., Burbank, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

Cinemark 18 & XD

6081 Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Century City 15

10250 Santa Monica Blvd, 2000, Los Angeles, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Santa Anita 16

400 Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Del Amo 18

3525 Carson St., Torrance, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Rolling Hills 20

2591 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26

7501 East Carson, Long Beach, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Puente Hills 20

1560 South Azusa Ave., City of Industry, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Promenade 16

21801 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Downtown Disney District 12

1565 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

AMC Glendora 12 @ 210/57

1337 E. Gladstone St., Glendora, CA

‚Äé 7:00pm‚Äé

Interested in more? Subscribe to Angelus News to get daily articles sent to your inbox.