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Latchis Hotel and Theater

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1938, S. W. Haynes. 38–50 Main St., City of Brattleboro

With its display of stylized and geometric ornament, the Latchis building is one of Vermont's most notable examples of Art Deco as well as one of the state's finest historic movie theaters. Between his arrival in the United States in 1901 and his death in 1932, Greek immigrant Demetrius Latchis parlayed a small Main Street fruit business into a chain of fifteen theaters and several hotels. The chain included a theater (1920) on this site that his son Peter replaced with this building, a 1,140-seat theater and a showcase hotel. Above a ground floor veneered in polished gray granite, the upper stories of the building are sheathed in buff-colored cast concrete with metal-sash casement windows. Spare surfaces are ornamented with stylized classical motifs including colossal fluted pilasters with floral capitals, a triglyph frieze, and relief lettering. A rounded canopy with modernistic, Broadway-style letters underscored by metal streamlines marks the hotel entrance at the canted corner. A diminutive square marquee on Main Street shelters the ticket kiosk and theater entrance.

Inside the theater the vestibule is wainscoted in marble with classical reliefs, with a terrazzo floor in an inlaid zodiac wheel pattern and a terminal semicircular fountain of Hebe. It leads into an auditorium that occupies the neighboring Mosher Block, built as an automobile showroom in 1914 and retrofitted as a theater during the construction of the Latchis. The auditorium has galleries supported by Ionic columns and a proscenium framed by Corinthian columns. Hungarian-born artist Louis Jambor decorated the surrounding walls with three-dimensional Greek temple facades and colonnades set against an Arcadian landscape of rolling hills, trees, clouds, and gods. The ceiling is painted with the heavenly constellations in the night sky.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Latchis Hotel and Theater", [Brattleboro, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-WH44.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 421-422.

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