New Orleans’ exhibit offers sights, sounds of WWII

A new film theater at the National World War II museum is hoping to lure visitors with a film produced by actor Tom Hanks that features the sights and sounds of battle.

“Beyond All Boundaries,” which premiered at the museum on Saturday, inaugurated the new Solomon Victory Theater. The film recalls the winter fighting of the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium’s Ardennes Forest.

As archival footage unfolded on a 120-foot (36.5 meter) screen, the theater’s seats vibrated when German Tiger tanks stormed across the deserts of North Africa. Smoke filled the air as bomber planes made hits and snow fell on the audience, recalling the frigid winter conditions.

“We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind sensory experience that would engage all the senses,” Hanks, the executive producer, told the audience.

“We had the opportunity to do what good entertainment does, and what fine telling of history does, at its best,” he said, adding that the film’s makers wanted to present a story younger audiences could understand.

Actors Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Elijah Wood and Tobey Maguire also read from diaries written by soldiers and journalists during the movie.

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Media Preview of Beyond all Boundaries

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans hosts a media preview of Tom Hanks’ WWII documentary “Beyond All Boundaries” at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in the museum’s Solomon Victory Theater. A grand opening for the film and a press conference with the Oscar-winning actor/producer will take place Nov. 6.

“Beyond All Boundaries” features immersive theatrics, digital effects and the voices of well-known stars on a 120-foot-wide screen that will show the 4-D cinematic experience eight times a day. Hanks’ film is the story of the Greatest Generation’s journey from Pearl Harbor to America’s final victory in the war that shaped our 20th-century world.

Familiar voices include those of Kevin Bacon, Patricia Clarkson, John Goodman, Neil Patrick Harris, Tobey Maguire, Brad Pitt, Bill Sadler, Gary Sinise and Elijah Wood. Expect more on this film and the museum in the not-too-distant future. Information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012, or visit


Beyond all Boundaries

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans unveils a major expansion Nov. 6 with the debut of a new movie theater, live show venue and a celebrity-chef restaurant.
The Solomon Victory Theater houses a new 40-minute movie billed as a “4-D cinematic experience” (think anti-aircraft guns, falling snow, rumbling seats and multiple projection layers — without having to wear goofy 3-D glasses).

The movie, Beyond All Boundaries, tells the WWII story from the perspective of soldiers, journalists and workers at home and features Hollywood A-list voices including Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt.

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