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The Commons
The Arts

Historian to present a multimedia history of the Latchis Theatre

Tickets for the April 22 event are $7 for adults, $3 for children, and can be purchased at the door. A reception with Boschen will be held after the event. For more information, visit www.latchisarts.org or contact Jonathan Boschen at 413-774-3879 or jaboschen@gmail.com or Jon Potter at 802-254-1109, ext. 3, or jon@latchisarts.org.

Originally published in The Commons issue #404 (Wednesday, April 19, 2017).



BRATTLEBORO—Film and theater historian Jonathan A. Boschen will present “The Latchis Legacy,” a documentary and talk on Brattleboro’s Latchis Theatre and the Latchis theaters of Keene, Claremont, Milford, and Newport, N.H., on Saturday, April 22, at 4 p.m., at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St.

Relying on archival materials and research he has collected for many years, Boschen will host a live documentary that for the first time looks at all of the Latchis theaters together and how Brattleboro’s Latchis Theatre, the last of the Latchis theaters still in existence, fits in.

The program makes use of photos of the various theaters and reconstructed architectural sketches to visualize what these theaters looked like. History about the Latchis family, their times, and American film and theater will help put the Latchis theaters into context.

Brattleboro’s Latchis Theatre opened in 1938 to honor patriarch Demetrius Latchis. It was designed in art deco style with atmospheric Greek mythology by architect Steven W. Haynes. The theater was the fifth (of six) built by the family and the third Haynes designed for them in a style paying homage to the family’s Greek heritage.

Haynes’ first such Latchis theater was built in Claremont, N.H., in 1928, and his second opened in Milford, N.H., in 1937.

Brattleboro’s Latchis Theatre is the only one still in existence; the others have been partially or completely demolished. While much has been done to recognize the history and the architecture of the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, the other five Latchis theaters have been overlooked and forgotten.

According to a news release, Boschen has had a strong interest in old movie theatres since he was a child, researching the old movie theaters in his hometown of Greenfield, Mass., (the Garden, Victoria, and Lawler), the theaters of Athol, Mass., (the York and the Capitol) and other communities.

He began collecting materials and research on the Latchis Theatre in college, but never did any in-depth projects on the theater itself. With the success of his live-documentary virtual-tour shows on long-gone Massachusetts theaters in Greenfield, Athol, Waltham, and Shelburne Falls, Boschen was looking for a large-scale project to raise the bar further.

The story of how Demetrius Latchis emigrated from Greece to pursue the American dream and subsequently contributed immensely to the lives of thousands of families in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts through his business ventures was the perfect topic.

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