(New York, New York, United States) – Author Gordon Hayward has recently written a book that profiles the Latsis Family of New York and the theater empire that they built throughout New England. The book, titled, “Greek Epic: The Latchis Family and the New England Theater Empire They Built,” tells the tale of how one Greek immigrant came to the United States chasing the American Dream.
The story starts by profiling Demetrios Latsis, who left his family in the Peloponnese at the age of 37 in order to see what opportunities the United States had for him. As he approached Ellis Island, he dreamed that he would achieve his fortune by building a solid business. Upon arriving, the immigrations officer misspelled his name as, “Latchis”, which was how the family spelled it in the United States.
During those early days, he made his living as a peddler and started by selling fruit on the New York streets. After doing this for some time, he went back to Greece in order to bring his wife and kids to the United States. He had seen enough to know that he could build a new, successful life in the United States.
The family eventually build up quite a legacy which included a movie house and an Art Deco Hotel.Over time, the family built up their business to own multiple theaters. Today, there is also a Latchis Memorial Building in Brattleboro. The family built the items in the Brattleboro block in the 1950’s to honor Demetrios after his death.
About the family, Hayward said, “This book happens to be about one Greek family, but it is a story written millions of times over all across America in the lives of immigrant families — which, in fact, means all Americans, unless you are descended from the native peoples or you are of African descent and were brought here against your will.”
The theaters held a lot of influence back in the early 1900’s and although they started as a silent film house, they transitioned into talking films with ease, showing top hits of the day such as Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.