News Column

At Perelman, 'Butler' will do it, digitally

July 24, 2013


July 24--NEXT Monday night's invitational premiere of "The Butler" will be the acid test for the new digital-cinema installation in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, with director Lee Daniels and star Cuba Gooding Jr. on hand to make judgement calls.

But the setup looked and sounded fine at the press introduction yesterday for what's now being billed as Philadelphia's largest (490-seat) screening room for one-night, few-night and festival film unspoolings, as well as business meets and private movie parties.

An Ultra High-Def Barco digital projector and huge Stewart screen make for a super bright, razor-sharp image. And the surround-sound system puts out prodigiously in this music-attuned hall. "Live from the Met" HD opera simulcasts would show very well here, though the Kimmel is currently lacking closed-circuit satellite-reception gear, allowed VP of facilities and operations David Thiele.

Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers -- an offshoot of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office -- is coordinating Perelman movie bookings, said GPF director Joan Bressler. The Philadelphia Film Festival, Awesomefest, Jewish Film Festival and Philadelphia Film Society are already putting holds on available nights. (For fast transitions, the screen flies up into the rafters and stage speakers roll into the wings.)

This new film venue will compete with the new and nearby, 470-seat, digital-cinema-equipped Prince Music Theater, where GPFO's executive director once supervised the self-named "Sharon Pinkenson Film Project."


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