May 4, 1953: The first black and white film composed for widescreen is MGM's CREST OF THE WAVE.
It opens in London in 1.75:1 on July 15, 1954 and in the U.S. on November 10, 1954.
May 11, 1953: Columbia begins filming the 3 Stooges 3-D short SPOOKS in 1.85:1.
When released on May 29, 1953, the left/right 35mm 3-D prints are sepia-toned.
Here is an open matte trailer for CREST OF THE WAVE.
June 10, 1953: The first widescreen black and white 3-D feature is Paramount's CEASE FIRE.
It premieres in 1.66:1 on November 25, 1953.
October 19, 1954: The first VistaVision film in black and white is THE DESPERATE HOURS.
When reviewed in September 1955, the recommended aspect ratio is 2:1.
March 11, 1955: BENGAZI is announced by RKO for anamorphic Superscope lensing.
March 30, 1955: REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE begins filming in black and white 2.55:1 CinemaScope
but is changed to Warnercolor on April 4.
The following screen tests were filmed on March 23.
April 2, 1955: TRIAL begins filming at MGM in black and white Cinemascope. After a few days, it is
changed to non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen.
April 11, 1955: Darryl F. Zanuck publicly reminds producers that according to their licensing contract, CinemaScope productions must be in color.
April 25, 1955: BENGAZI begins filming in 2:1 Superscope. On May 19, Joseph Tushinsky, president of Superscope, announces "It is the only wide-screen anamorphic process which is currently being used by both black and white and color photography." BENGAZI is released by RKO on September 14, 1955.
March 1, 1956: Darryl F. Zanuck takes a four month leave of absence from 20th Century Fox.
Buddy Adler is the acting head of the studio during Zanuck's absence.
April 9, 1956: MGM begins filming THE POWER AND THE PRIZE in black and white 2.55:1 CinemaScope.
Directed by Henry Koster -- director of THE ROBE -- it is released on September 26, 1956.
May 8, 1956: Studio President Spyros P. Skouras announces that "20th Century Fox is no longer
wholly committed to CinemaScope in color."
June 21, 1956: TEENAGE REBEL is the first 20th Century Fox 2.55:1 CinemaScope film in black and white.
In August 1956, International Projectionist publishes an article on the
resurgence of black and white productions.
For more information on early non-anamorphic widescreen, please read
The First Year of Widescreen and Widescreen Documentation.