Where to see 'The Dark Knight Rises' prologue in Philly before it hits theaters

Tom Hardy as Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises"


"The Dark Knight Rises," the hotly anticipated third entry in Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman movies, doesn't hit the big screen until July 20, 2012. But Warner Bros. is giving fans a taste of the flick early by screening a six-minute prologue in IMAX theaters across the country on December 16. A story in Brit movie mag Empire confirmed that the preview would introduce the audience to the character of Bane, played by the studly Tom Hardy. 

Here's the deal, though: The prologue will be attached to whatever IMAX movie is playing at those theaters at the time, almost like a trailer. Reports say that it's J.J. Abrams' (our bad! J.J. did "MI:III") Brad Bird's  "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" (although, that's not slated for an official release until Wed., Dec. 21). This isn't a new gambit for Warner Bros. They did the same thing with "The Dark Knight" in 2007, attaching it to Will Smith's "I Am Legend." 

But if both Bruce Wayne and Ethan Hunt get you all hot and bothered, there are two area theaters where you can watch the prologue: The Tuttleman IMAX at the Franklin Institute and the IMAX Theater at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.