Hollywood actors Tom Hanks, Patricia Clarkson and James Cromwell walked the red carpet Thursday before a private screening of the Hanks-produced war film "Beyond All Boundaries" held at the World War II Museum in New Orleans.
The film, which includes "4-D" elements such as props and shaking seats, opened to the public Friday and will be shown exclusively at the museum's new Victory Theater.
The theater is part of the museum's $300 million expansion project that will continue through 2015. Clarkson and Cromwell were among more than a dozen celebrities who lent their voices to the documentary.
Clarkson was the voice of Marguerite Higgins, a New York Herald Tribune correspondent, and Cromwell was the voices of Maj. Gen. Alexander Archer Vandegrift and Fleet Adm. William Halsey.
The film includes vintage images that chronicle the Second World War - from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of the Bulge - and took five years to make.
Hanks said the film captures a moment in the country's history that "is now entering into the era of myth." He noted that younger generations are far removed from World War II and hopes the film will bridge the gap.
"Beyond All Boundaries" has been a highly anticipated attraction at the museum.
Also opening Friday are two other museum additions - a canteen that will showcase musical revues inspired by USO-style productions and a restaurant called The American Sector that will be overseen by chef John Besh.
To mark the occasion, there will be a military flyover, procession of World War II veterans and entertainer Mickey Rooney is scheduled to perform with his band.
The celebration will continue through the weekend with a Victory Stomp block party Saturday and a retrospective honoring the museum's founder, the late Stephen Ambrose, on Sunday. AP