Growing Up at The Latchis: An Interview with Anne Latchis

According to her portrait in Christopher Irion’s PhotoBooth installation, she’s the “Latchis genetic memory keeper.” She is currently a member of the Latchis Arts Board, and General Manager of Strolling of the Heifers. She is a film lover. An art deco fan. She is Anne Latchis, granddaughter of Spero Latchis, one of the original brothers who built the hotel.

Anne Latchis, on the photo wall in the Latchis Theatre as part of Christopher Irion's PhotoBooth Project.
From photographer Christopher Irion’s Latchis PhotoBooth installation, now on display in the Latchis Theatre lobby.

Growing Up in The Latchis

Anne has a truly unique, lifelong connection to the Latchis, having grown up in and around the hotel and theatre. It’s where some memorable childhood birthday parties were held, proud to share this special place with her friends — one of her fondest memories is of a terrific Latchis sleepover of 10 girls; she remembers digging into a hearty banquet dinner in the Latchis Ballroom (now known as Theatre 2) before a movie and a late night of giggles camped out in adjoining hotel rooms.

An old photo of the Latchis Theatre.

For Anne, her story is reminiscent of her favorite book, Eloise, about a six-year-old girl who lives on the top floor of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Anne likes to call herself “Brattleboro’s Eloise.”

“I could go anywhere in the hotel,” she recalls. “It wasn’t like ‘Bring Your Child to Work Day’ at the office or something, where you just sit in a chair.”

The Family Business

Being a Latchis meant working just about every job in the building at one point or another. From selling sweet treats at the candy counter to greeting guests at the hotel desk, and even running towels upstairs if needed, Anne had a hand just about everywhere.

She recalls travelling back to Brattleboro in 1985 after living in San Francisco: the folks at the Latchis hardly offered a greeting before telling her she was back on the frontlines of the hotel.

“I had just walked through the doors after driving cross-country,” she said. “They told me, ‘oh, by the way — you’re on the desk at eight tomorrow.’”

A Timeless Experience

Latchis Theatre Artwork
Photo: Wayne Fawbush.

Most of Anne’s childhood memories of the building involve exploring the premises — wide-open spaces, impressive ceilings, and countless nooks and crannies create the perfect setting for a kid to run wild. Mirroring her experience, Anne observes the way the Latchis invokes a sense of exploratory wonder in all of its guests, young and old.

When Anne is off traveling and she mentions that she’s from Southern Vermont, the majority of the time, someone will mention the Latchis Hotel or Theatre — if not by name, then by description. The Latchis is not easily forgotten.

“[The Latchis] was a place I was always proud of as a kid,” she says. “It’s just a part of my identity.”