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USS Kidd back open, seeing benefits from movie production

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BATON ROUGE - Weeks after Tom Hanks visited the naval destroyer, the USS Kidd is open, and back to normal.

Green screens, smoke machines and dozens of actors, including Hanks, are gone as filming for the World War II movie 'Greyhound' has wrapped on the destroyer.

Some film crews are sticking around, putting everything back together on the ship. The executive director of the museum says something will remain long after everyone is gone: the economic impact.

“Financially, we've come out doing a little better than we would through our regular admissions, overnights and rentals,” David Beard said.

Beard says funding the museum hasn't always been easy.

“We took a big hit in 2016 with the flood. The museum was closed for 30 days."

So with the help of huge productions, like the filming of 'Greyhound', the USS Kidd has been able to do some renovations. The gift shop has been rearranged with new cabinets and paint.

“We've been building back up, catching back up,” said Beard.

But Beard admits there are some cons to all the cameras. Normally the museum is open for six hours during weekdays. But, while filmmakers were aboard the ship, employee hours nearly doubled.

“A lot of the money we might have made was eaten up by what it costs to staff the place,” said Beard.

Even so, the executive director says the movie brought something on board money can't buy, and that’s opportunity.

“We're hoping that now that this project is over and they were very happy about the way it went, that more projects of a similar type will be brought here,” he said.

Another film crew for an upcoming WWII movie has already scouted out the USS Kidd. But Beard doesn't know if the destroyer will be picked for filming.

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