Renovations begin in the Latchis Theatre

BRATTLEBORO — The main theater of the Latchis complex closed for renovations Aug. 1, with the theater's 750 seats cleared from the auditorium.

Aug. 2 brought New England Scaffolding Co. to begin filling the 30-foot-high void with scaffolding high enough to reach the zodiac whorl of the ceiling.

Next, preservationists from EverGreene Architectural Arts will catalogue those astrological signs, then remove them and the midnight-blue fabric they're fixed to for replacement.

Electricians, carpenters, carpet-layers, and painters all will lend a hand improving the historic venue, Latchis Arts said in a news release updating progress on its Campaign for The Heavens and the Earth, which is replacing the seats and restoring the historic zodiac ceiling in the main hall of the Latchis Theatre complex.

Donations toward the $550,000 campaign are coming in from far and wide, the campaign reports. Its newest grant, from the United States Department of Agriculture's office of Rural Development, came in at $32,600.

A further $62,000 is needed to close the gap, the campaign said.

The landmark Latchis Memorial Building was constructed in 1938 and purchased by Brattleboro Arts Initiative (now Latchis Arts) in 2003. The zodiac design is found throughout the theater lobby and, in deteriorating condition, on the ceiling of the main hall.

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