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HOF unveils renovated Grandstand Theater

MLB.com

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Fans who have flocked to Cooperstown for this year's Induction Weekend will have an opportunity to enjoy the Baseball Hall of Fame's renovated Grandstand Theater and a short film that stirs emotions as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Cal Ripken Jr. and other legends comment on great moments that link baseball's beautiful history.

"Baseball fans come to the Hall of Fame looking for that 'wow' moment, and the new 'Generations of the Game' introductory film, shown in the beautifully renovated and state-of-the-art Grandstand Theater sets the stage and delivers an emotional foundation for a memorable Museum experience," National Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said.

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Fans who have flocked to Cooperstown for this year's Induction Weekend will have an opportunity to enjoy the Baseball Hall of Fame's renovated Grandstand Theater and a short film that stirs emotions as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Cal Ripken Jr. and other legends comment on great moments that link baseball's beautiful history.

"Baseball fans come to the Hall of Fame looking for that 'wow' moment, and the new 'Generations of the Game' introductory film, shown in the beautifully renovated and state-of-the-art Grandstand Theater sets the stage and delivers an emotional foundation for a memorable Museum experience," National Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said.

Idelson, Hall of Fame chairperson Jane Forbes Clark, George Brett, Rickey Henderson, Carlton Fisk, Juan Marichal and Rod Carew were among the dignitaries who gathered in the new theater Friday morning for the release of "Generations of the Game." Live coverage of the induction ceremony begins Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on MLB Network, and the program will be simulcast on MLB.com.

"[The film] really gets fans ready to experience the museum," Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith said. "It does everything you want it to do as far as creating excitement for people coming to the museum."

Tweet from @baseballhall: Watch it once, and you'll know why you love baseball. The Museum's new Generations of the Game film is a hit. See it in the Hall of Fame's completely renovated Grandstand Theater. pic.twitter.com/pJ3huN9lBe

A Dolby Atmos sound system (donated by Dolby Laboratories), state-of-the-art projectors (donated by Christie projectors) and 16-foot vertical videoboards along the theater's side walls provide a cutting-edge, fan-friendly experience. The wooden ballpark seating that previously existed within the theater has been replaced by cushioned seats.

"Generations of the Game" is the creation of Hall of Fame board member Thomas Tull, who has served as the executive producer for many hit films, including the "Dark Knight" trilogy. He contacted acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Hock to direct the film, which was written by MLB.com's Joe Posnanski.

"Thomas is a big superhero guy, with the 'Dark Knight' and 'Superman' movies," Hock said. "He believes in superheroes, and these guys are superheroes. It's a superhero film. It shows someone can be forever linked to somebody they have never met. Baseball does that."

The film includes footage of Lou Gehrig's famous farewell speech, which is followed by narrative from Ripken, who will forever be linked to the Yankees' Iron Man. Footage of Willie Mays' great catch in the World Series is followed with commentary provided by Ken Griffey Jr., who also made jaw-dropping over-the-shoulder catches.

Tom Seaver speaks about his visits to the Hall and how he touches his plaque along with those of Sandy Koufax, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and other pitchers who helped pave the way and create the inspiration for him to perform his craft.

"That's the theme we went with, that under this one roof, all these generations of fans and players should have that moment," Hock said. "Baseball gives you that moment."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.