You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich based his Christmas column “Who Killed the Disneyland Dream?” around Robbins Barstow’s Disneyland Dream, using it as a symbolic representation of American middle class life in the 1950s.

Source: New York Times


Christmas morning, 1985-2009, as videotaped by the father of YouTube contributor Spoonito .

The Center for Home Movies, the umbrella organization for Home Movie Day and your favorite home movie blog (ahem, that would be this one).

Your donations will go towards supporting Home Movie Day and home movie preservation projects. Even the smallest contribution would help.

U.S. residents can contribute online using GuideStar and the Network for Good at

Non-U.S. residents can pay via Chipin.

Thanks, on behalf of CHM.

The following obituary has been provided by the Kattelle family.

Alan D. Kattelle of Hudson, MA. died on Tuesday, December 8, 2010 at the age of 91.  Born in 1919 in Boston, he attended Columbia University where he graduated in 1948.  Alan was working as a machinist in Hudson when World War II was declared; he later enlisted in the U. S. Army and served as an interpreter with the Allied occupation forces in France and Germany.

Mr. Kattelle had a successful career as an engineer and business executive.  Before his retirement from the Kennecott Copper Co. in 1979, he purchased heavy equipment for among other mines, the Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah, the world’s largest man-made excavation.  For 30 years, he and his family resided in Darien, CT.  Besides being an accomplished sculptor and author, Mr. Kattelle established himself over 25 years of collecting, writing, and lecturing as one of the world’s foremost authorities on amateur cinematography.  His articles have appeared in numerous collectors’ society journals, as well as the Journal of Film and Video, Film History, and the newsletter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, where he received the Silver Light Award in 2005 given in recognition of his long standing contributions and leadership in the field of amateur film.  He was a charter member and past president of the Photographic Historical Society of New England, co-founder and past president of the Movie Machine Society and served on the advisory board of Northeast Historic Film.  At one time he had one of the largest private collections of amateur film equipment and literature in the world which he has since donated to Northeast Historic Film, Bucksport, ME.  He also authored and published the definitive book on the subject:  Home Movies, A History of the American Industry 1897-1979.

Mr. Kattelle was a 3rd generation resident of Lake Boon, and the lake’s resident historian. He served on The Lake Boon Commission, and was a member of both the Hudson and Stow Historical Societies, among numerous other local volunteer activities.

He was a frequent visitor of Monhegan Island, ME. where in 1937 he met his wife, Natalie Orne Kattelle.

Mr. Kattelle was predeceased by his parents, who were long time residents of Hudson, Mr. & Mrs. Laurence Kattelle. He was also predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Natalie Orne Kattelle, and a daughter Ellen K. Montecalvo.  Mr. Kattelle is survived by 3 children: his son Lawrence E. Kattelle of Gardner, MA., his daughter Candace K. Monroe of Los Angeles, CA. and another daughter, Prudence K. Burkhart of Darien, CT.  He is also survived by 6 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren.

At the request of Mr. Kattelle there will be a private, family memorial service at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be sent to:

Monhegan Island Sustainable Community Assoc. (checks written to MISCA)
P.O. Box 303
Monhegan, ME  04852


Northeast Historic Film (for the Alan & Natalie Kattelle Collection)
P.O. Box 900
85 Main Street
Bucksport, ME  04416

The home movie world lost another one of its patriarchs and titans when Alan Kattelle passed away peacefully this morning after a brief illness. He will truly be missed.

After his long career as an engineer, Alan began to develop a collection of home movie cameras and equipment. Eventually that collection grew to be what was almost certainly the largest and most comprehensive collection of its type in the world. Countless people began making pilgrimages to Alan’s historic house (with its walls adorned with murals by the artist Claggett Wilson) on Lake Boon in Hudson, Massachusetts to view and handle Alan’s collection, which he kept elegantly displayed in his loft.

Through his collecting activities he became a leader of both the Photographic Historical Society of New England, the Movie Machine Society. He was also embraced by the film archives community, and hosted a field trip to his home as part of the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ conference in 2002. This led to an Oral History Project conducted in 2003 by Andrea McCarty and Chad Hunter on behalf of AMIA’s Small Gauge & Amateur Film Committee. In 2005, he was awarded AMIA’s Silver Light Award, which recognizes “outstanding career achievement in moving image archiving.”

Perhaps Alan’s longest lasting achievement was the publication of his book Home Movies: A History of the American Industry, 1897-1979, the definitive history of amateur film technology, and a book that is never more than a few arms’ lengths away for anyone interested in the study of home movies.

After Alan donated his collection of equipment to Northeast Historic Film, he began to focus his attention on co-writing the history of his beloved Lake Boon [Amazon] [Google Books] as well as his own family’s history.

To those who were lucky enough to know him, Alan’s impressive accomplishments were soon overwhelmed by his impish smile, his generousness in hosting guests at his summer home on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine and his home in Hudson, where he would show off his latest sculpture and invite you to join him for his nightly cocktail.

Correction: The original post gave his birth year as 1918.