"VCLF was our knight in shining armor. The Loan Fund made the purchase of our building possible."
An elaborate palace, replete with columns, constellations, and images of gods and goddesses, Brattleboro’s beloved Latchis Theater opened in 1938, an art deco movie palace with hotel, eateries, retail establishments and more. The Latchis family owned and operated the business for over six decades. In 2003, the Brattleboro Arts Initiative (now Latchis Arts) was looking for a home, and was steered by Paul Bruhn of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, to meet with the Latchises, who were ready to sell. When discussions turned to financing, Bruhn suggested the Vermont Community Loan Fund.
Latchis Arts’ former Managing Director Gail Nunziata recalls the excitement of finding the landmark future home - and the Loan Fund. “VCLF was our knight in shining armor,” recalls Nunziata. “The Loan Fund made the purchase of our building possible. It was an amazing
In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene caused $650,000 worth of flood damage. The screen went dark and the hotel was shuttered temporarily, but Latchis made it through, reopening in just two months after an intensive clean-up and restoration. For 2013, their 75th anniversary year, a capital campaign is underway to replace aging seats and restore the beautiful zodiac-themed ceiling in the main hall.
Latchis now employs 20 full or part-time staff, and leases 14 separate spaces in the main building and annex, providing storefronts and homes for a jeweler, boutique, a hair salon, an attorney, and a handful of artists who rent studio space.
Nunziata also notes the vital part that the Latchis plays in supporting the local economy, arts and otherwise. “At Latchis, we host a number of local cultural and arts festivals and events for other local organizations. Whenever possible, we purchase local goods and services. And we bring in all those tourists who eat shop and celebrate the arts in Brattleboro. Thanks to VCLF, Latchis is a wonderful community resource.”