For many of us, the holidays are not complete without "The Nutcracker." For 25 years, the Atlanta Ballet has performed the classic at the Fox Theatre. This year will be the last.
Next year, the production will move into a new home.
The bright lights, buzz and excitement outside The Fox is just as much as a draw to what happens on its historic stage. For many families, "The Nutcracker" has become part of their holiday tradition. That's why leaving the historic location comes with a bit of sadness.
"The Fox just has so much charm and we've always seen it here, " Elizabeth White of Conyers said. She's come to see the show since she was her 9-year-old son's age.
The production's move was a mutual business decision between the theatre and Atlanta Ballet.
"It is sad for us for myself to leave this beautiful place, said Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director, Gennadi Nedvigin. "It is a mutual agreement. It happened not in one day we really thought and discussed hard how we can extend it but there are some limitations in time and availabilities."
Next year, the holiday production will be 10 miles up the road at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. It is where Atlanta Ballet performs all their other shows.
"It will be the same magic and we'll create even more. We have a lot of things in planning and it will be just magical," said Nedvigin.
The show will be the same, but consideration has been put into turning the entire space into a winter wonderland of sorts.
The Nutcracker production has grown tremendously since it began at The Fox in 1994. Now it has massive set pieces and highly detailed lighting projections which will be more conducive to the new space.
"This show is really designed for a modern performing arts space, said Atlanta Ballet General Manager, Thomas Fowlkes. "We were very lucky to have the opportunity to do it here at The Fox but we’re really excited about how it’s going to look at CPAC."
The Fox carries a lot of memories, not just for yearly visitors but also the dancers who will be saying goodbye to their December home. Some who have dance in the show for more than a decade.
"There's something so beautiful about looking out into this house with the architecture and the design. It's really special," said Jackie Nash, company dancer.
But there is also a lot to look forward to in the new space like having dressing rooms on the same floor.
"There will be a lot more space for us to be backstage for us to warm up during the show. The whole thing is gonna be a great move to go there," added Jacob Bush, company dancer.
The Atlanta Ballet artistic director looks at the move as an expansion of their tradition. And Fox CEO Allen Vella said "The door is always open to find a solution that would be equally beneficial, we would be open to it."
The Nutcracker's last run at The Fox is set for Christmas Eve.