Tornado Alley to Play at Two Smithsonian IMAX Theaters

October 14, 2011
News Release

Smithsonian Theaters presents its newest giant-screen film, Tornado Alley. The feature is currently playing at the National Museum of Natural History’s Johnson IMAX Theater and will relaunch in 3-D Sept. 21. It will also open in the standard IMAX format at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s Airbus IMAX Theater on that day.

The 42-minute film takes audiences on a giant-screen journey with filmmaker Sean Casey and his storm-chasing team into “Tornado Alley,” a region of the United States prone to the severe and destructive storms. Equipped with an IMAX camera and his custom-designed, 7-ton armored tornado intercept vehicle, Casey and his crew capture some of the most spectacular storm images ever filmed for the giant screen, including footage from inside a tornado.

Tornado Alley also spotlights the efforts of the Vortex 2 team of storm-chasing scientists as they employ mobile radar units known as Doppler on Wheels to collect data that will help meteorologists better predict where and when tornadoes will strike and increase the warning time provided to those who live in the paths of these destructive storms.

Tornado Alley is a visually stunning film that was designed specifically for giant screens like those in the Johnson and Airbus theaters. Audiences will feel as though they are braving hail, heavy rain and high winds as they ride in the TIV into the heart of the storms.

Casey and several others featured in the film will present the 3-D version of the film at a special screening hosted by The Smithsonian Associates Oct. 20 at the Johnson IMAX Theater. Details and tickets for this screening are available at

The TIV and a DOW will be on view at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on select dates in October. Sean Casey and Karen Kosiba, a scientist featured in the film, will appear at the Center with both vehicles Oct. 21. The TIV will remain on display through Oct. 23. A DOW will also be on display as part of the museum’s Air & Scare family day Oct. 29. The vehicles will be parked in front of museum.

Individual tickets for all regularly scheduled public screenings of Tornado Alley are available now and may be reserved and purchased up to two weeks in advance. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets now for any date during the film’s expected run. The public may visit any Smithsonian Theaters box office, call toll-free (866) 868-7774, TTY (202) 633-8850 or visit for information or to purchase tickets.

The Airbus IMAX Theater is located on the main floor of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway in Chantilly. The theater’s 75-by-62-foot screen is the largest in northern Virginia.

The Johnson IMAX Theater is located on the first floor of the National Museum of Natural History at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. The theater’s 90-by-60-foot screen is the largest in Washington, D.C.

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