USS Kidd Museum upgraded thanks to Tom Hanks movie production
BATON ROUGE - The USS Kidd Museum is now upgraded. Revenue from filming the movie 'Greyhound' starring Tom Hanks in April helped get the national historic landmark in top shape.
“We had to make sure they compensated us for lost revenue, additional staff time, overtime.. and maybe come out a little bit ahead for our trouble,” explained Executive Director David Beard.
Beard says they're not allowed to disclose how much revenue they made from filming until the movie is released, but he did tell WBRZ what they used the money on.
Major improvements were made to their gift shop, website and they're able to purchase advanced technology. The biggest piece is a virtual reality prototype that will be coming in March. It will allow visitors to see what the environment on the ship was like decades ago when it was used for battle.
“Players will be able to operate a machine gun to shoot down Kamikazes attacking the Kidd on April 11, 1944 off of Okinawa,” said Beard. “Thirty-eight crew were killed in the Kamikaze attack. So the player can shoot down as many Kamikaze planes, except for the plane that hit the ship. The game is over when that plane strikes the ship and then the names and faces of the lost crew scroll through the virtual reality.”
None of these upgrades are cheap, and they wouldn't have been possible without the filming funds.
“We're always stretched for cash,” said Beard.
Beard says he's grateful Tom Hanks and his crew recognized the Kidd and all of it's glory.
"This is the best preserved World War II destroyer probably in the world."