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The National World War II Museum New Orleans Cutting Edge Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen and The American Sector set to open in November

11 August 2009

The National World War II Museum’s gleaming new complex, comprised of The Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen and The American Sector restaurant, is readying for its debut. When the doors fling open on November 6, 2009, the Museum’s $60 million newest addition to its $300 million expansion will become the most significant attraction to the city’s cultural scene since Hurricane Katrina.

Designed by architects Voorsanger Mathes, LLC, the Museum centerpiece is the 250-seat Victory Theater. A state-of-the-art venue, the theater boasts a 120 feet wide screen with technology designed to thrust audiences into the titanic struggles of WW2 via a 4-D cinematic experience entitled Beyond All Boundaries.

Executive Producer Tom Hanks has worked with Phil Hettema, former Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios and now President of the Hettema Group, to create a unique and overwhelming immersive journey into World War II that will appeal to everyone – from the Greatest Generation to those who have grown up with Facebook and Xbox.

Following the end of on the 40-minute performance, theater-goers can catch their breath at the Stage Door Canteen, a recreation of the wartime venues found in New York, Los Angeles and other cities that entertained the troops during the war. The National World War II Museum’s new Stage Door Canteen recaptures that excitement and is an ode to the morale-building experience. Patrons will be able to hear the old songs, laugh at the jokes and grab a bite, a soft drink or a cocktail while discovering the sights and sounds of the era.

Lastly, and literally, on the menu, is The American Sector, a Chef John Besh Restaurant. Chef Besh is the celebrated New Orleanian known to the nation for his James Beard award-winning restaurants and through appearances on TV shows like the Next Iron Chef and programs such as the Today show. His is also a former Marine who fought during Operation Desert Storm.

For The American Sector, the original name of the historic New Orleans district known today as the Warehouse District, Besh plans a menu inspired by the simpler fare of the 1940s, but with a flair found only in New Orleans. The restaurant interior will have a bar and an outdoor patio overlooking newly landscaped Magazine Street. It is certain to become a great new addition to the city’s culinary landscape, making a trip to the Museum a must for visitors to New Orleans.

The complex’s grand opening celebrations are planned to be worthy of a Hollywood premiere and run from November 6-8. A cast of celebrities led by Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw, veterans and active military, political dignitaries from around the globe, as well as other assorted VIPs, will officially open the complex with a military fly-over and parachute drop on Friday the 6th.  Family events and a New Orleans-style block party will take place all day Saturday the 7th, and special retrospective honoring Museum-founder and Historian Stephen E. Ambrose will be held on Sunday the 8th.

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org.

The Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast is only a short streetcar ride from the WWII museum. Special rates are available for visitors to the opening ceremonies or year-round. Just call 1-800-490-8542 and ask for the WWII Museum Package. You can also book on line and write “discount for WWII Museum” in the comments section. We will adjust the posted rate. Some restrictons apply.

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