Todd DeFeo

Atlanta Cyclorama closing in advance of relocation

Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War MuseumAtlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum The Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum in Grant Park as seen on June 11, 2011. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

ATLANTA — The famed Atlanta Cyclorama will take its last spin on Tuesday.

The painting — along with the Texas locomotive — is moving to the Atlanta History Center in the Buckhead section of town. The new exhibit is expected to open in early 2017.

Located in Grant Park next to Zoo Atlanta, The Cyclorama is best known for its painted depiction of the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. The painting debuted in Detroit in February 1887.

“The relocation of the Atlanta Cyclorama to the History Center represents a unique opportunity to renew one of the city’s most important cultural and historic landmarks,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said last year in announcing the move. “Under the stewardship of the History Center, the Cyclorama will continue to be a teaching tool, and will be enjoyed by a broader audience of residents, students and visitors alike.”

The theater rotates in a 360-degree circle, allowing the audience to see the entire 42-foot-tall painting. An introductory film narrated by James Earl Jones sets the scene for visitors before they enter the room that houses the painting; narration on each part of the scene as the room rotates highlights the various events depicted in the painting.

The relocation of the Cyclorama will save the city approximately $1 million a year in operating costs, officials previously said.

The current Cyclorama building will be developed into an event space as part of a Zoo Atlanta expansion. The building will include an overlook of the Zoo’s African savanna exhibit.

About Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.