The 3-D craze first swept Hollywood in the early ’50s, largely as a desperate response to dwindling movie attendance caused by television. The fad peaked in 1955 but would not die. The last big commercial 3-D explosion occurred in 1983, when nearly a dozen 3-D films were released, including Jaws 3-D, Amityville 3-D, and Emmanuelle 4. All of which stank, but one really judges a 3-D movie by how well the glasses work. Two films from the genre’s heyday show how effective the technique can be, in completely opposite ways. Alfred Hitchcock used the extra dimension to heighten the reality—and suspense—of Dial M for Murder (tonight at 7 p.m. ), in which Ray Milland conspires to kill his wife, played by Grace Kelly. In the Vincent Price horror classic House of Wax (July 25 at 3 p.m.), the filmmakers throw everything, including a young Charles Bronson, at the screen. At the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th & Constitution Ave. NW. $11 each, $18 for both. (202) 357-3030. (Dave Nuttycombe)