30 May


Hollywood vs. Reality – Exploring Weather Science in Film



6:00pm – Doors open
6:30pm – Presentation by Todd Heitkamp
7:00pm – Screening of TWISTER with a Q&A session after the movie

The Sioux Falls State Theatre is excited to announce our first screening of the 2024 Science on Screen film series! Science on Screen is a grant initiative designed to bring science to cinemas by creatively pairing current, classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.

Join Todd Heitkamp, the National Weather Service’s meteorologist in charge, as he dissects Hollywood’s depictions of tornadoes, revealing the stark disparities between cinematic fantasy and scientific truth. Prepare to be both entertained and educated as Todd delves into the realities of recent extreme weather events gripping our region, offering invaluable insight just in time for a stormy summer season.

During the approach of the most powerful storm in decades, university professor Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and an underfunded team of students prepare the prototype for Dorothy, a ground-breaking tornado data-gathering device conceived by her estranged husband, Bill (Bill Paxton). When Harding tells Bill that Dorothy is ready for testing — and that their privately funded rival Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) has stolen the idea and built his own — Bill rejoins the team for one last mission.

Director: Jan de Bont
Run Time: 113 min.
Release Date: 1996 | PG-13

The Science on Screen initiative brings science to cinemas nationwide and is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION. Presented in collaboration with SOUTH DAKOTA TRUST COMPANY.