Popcorn and snowflakes: 'Nutcracker' at the movies

NEW YORK (AP) - For so many American kids, it's their first - and sometimes only - exposure to ballet: A holiday performance of "The Nutcracker," that classic tale of a little girl's dreamlike encounters with battling mice and toy soldiers, a dashing prince, a growing Christmas tree and a land of sweets.

There's one in virtually every town. But until now, if you lived in Anchorage or Omaha or Tulsa, you weren't able to see what many consider the Nutcracker gold standard: the late George Balanchine's classic production for New York City Ballet.

On Dec. 13, though, the company will beam a live "Nutcracker" performance in high-definition from Lincoln Center to some 560 movie theaters in all 50 states, followed the next night by a live broadcast on public television.

In taking its "Nutcracker" national, the company hopes to promote its brand, earn new revenue and join a growing trend of HD transmissions of live performance, pioneered by the Metropolitan Opera.

Here is a list of theaters in Washington state that will be broadcasting the performance live:

Anacortes Cinemas ANACORTES

Auburn 17 Theatres AUBURN

Bainbridge Cinemas BAINBRIDGE ISLAND

Bellis Fair 6 Cinema BELLINGHAM

Century Theatres Federal Way 16 FEDERAL WAY

Gig Harbor Uptown 10 GIG HARBOR

Columbia Mall 8 KENNEWICK

AMC Kent Station 14 KENT

Alderwood 7 Theatres LYNNWOOD

Monroe 12 MONROE

Capital Mall 14 OLYMPIA

Bella Bottega 11 Cinema REDMOND

AMC Southcenter 16 with IMAX SEATTLE

Northgate-Thornton Place IMAX SEATTLE

Northtown 12 SPOKANE