Movie-going residents of Center City and its burgeoning neighborhoods to the north and south have long bemoaned the shortage of serious film venues here. (Or funny ones, for that matter.)

Compared to New York, say, or San Francisco, Philadelphia is woefully underscreened. So, while we wait for the Philadelphia Film Society to finish its long and rocky rehabbing of the Roxy on Sansom Street, and for the new operators of the Prince to beef up its film programming (the 20th anniversary re-release of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List is set there for Sept. 12), it's welcome news to hear that the folks at the Kimmel Center now have a real cinema on their hands.

The 650-seat Perelman Theater in the Kimmel's Broad and Spruce Streets complex has been outfitted with a high-def digital video projection system with 3-D capability and surround sound audio. In cahoots with Sharon Pinkenson and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, the plan is to book major studio events, local filmmaker premieres, offer its screen up for film festivals and college and university programs, along with other public and private bookings.

According to the press release I have right here in front of me, Iron Chef Jose Garces' gang will be providing the "gourmet popcorn" to munch on during the films. Do you want butter on that? For info, bookmark