It is a sad thing to report that Charles P. ("Charlie") Mitchell of Medway, Maine,
passed away suddenly on Jan. 25, 2005.
Mr Mitchell and his wife Roberta had devoted much of their energy to
collecting rare old films on various formats, beginning shortly after they
married in 1977. Their collection grew to such dimensions that after Charles
retired from his library job in the 1990s, the Mitchells decided to turn their
hobby into a small business, selling video copies of their (public domain)
rarities to collectors by mail.
Having happened upon their little classified ad (probably in "Classic Images"),
I myself made the acquaintance of the Mitchells via E-Mail. From them
in recent years I acquired several real celluloid rarities (which I'd been unable
to find elsewhere). Even though my dealings with them were solely by E-Mail,
I was always struck by the loving care with which the Michells filled orders, and
the very reasonable prices they charged. It was obvious the Mitchells collected
old films and shared them with other collectors (like yours truly) not for any
Roberta Mitchell, who had worked alongside her husband and played the role of an equal
partner in their hobby-business, assures me that their enterprise will continue as before,
unchanged, and that she will continue to give the same service that the Mitchells had given
previously, at the same location: "[log in to unmask]" [not ".COM"]
Charles Mitchell published 8 books, rich in the detail which was characteristic of his love
for celluloid oldies and his background in library science. Most recent among those books
were "Guide to Charlie Chan Films " (Greenwood, 1999); "Hitler Filmography" (McFarland '02);
"Great Composers Portrayed on Film" (McFarland '04); and "Filmography of Social
Issues" (Greenwood '04).
Charles P Mitchell was born on May 3, 1949. He received a BA in History from Pace
University and an MLS (Library Science) from the Pratt Institute. He is survived by his
widow, Roberta Mitchell, by an aunt, and by some cousins in Texas. Along with his love
for films (especially "film noir," British cinema, Charlie Chan, and films about music &
composers), he had a great love for dogs, and the Mitchells had 3 pet canines at the time
of Charles's passing.
I like to think of Charles Mitchell as modern-day successor to Theodore Huff and
William K Everson. He will be painfully missed by all who knew him.
Steven P Hill,
University of Illinois.
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