With plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Forever, Darling in Lucille Ball’s hometown, some recent donations to Jamestown, New York’s Lucy-Desi Center couldn’t be more timely!
San Francisco film collector and Lucy-Desi Museum member Ken Souza donated a 16mm print of the Forever, Darling trailer to the Center. This theatrical preview will be shown during Lucy-Desi Days Memorial Day Weekend Festival, May 26-28, in Jamestown.
And, locally, Jamestown resident Cecile Wilson surprised Lucy-Desi staff by stopping in last week to donate three original photographs of The First Couple of Comedy when they were here in February of 1956 for the world premiere of their final film together.
A special Forever, Darling Golden Anniversary Celebration is planned at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, the former Palace Theatre where the film premiered 50 years ago. The Saturday morning breakfast event will include stories from Jamestown natives about that famous weekend in Lucy-Desi history, never-published snapshots of the historic events that took place, some very special people who were involved in Lucy’s homecoming, and an exclusive video tribute. Dann Cahn, the film editor of Forever, Darling (and “I Love Lucy”) is coming from Los Angeles to share memories of working with the First Couple of Comedy. The film itself will be screened on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., also in the Reg Lenna Civic Center.
“Lucille Ball’s hometown is the most legitimate place in the country for artifacts and memorabilia of our First Lady of Comedy to be safely stored and cared for,” said Souza from his home in San Francisco. “Jamestown is lucky to be able to call her their very own, and I’m more than happy to support the Lucy-Desi Center there as they continue to make amazing strides in building a world-class attraction for all of us who need to keep humor in our lives.”
As an added bonus, when Souza learned that the Center was working to schedule flights for the Festival’s celebrity guests, he donated frequent flyer miles to bring “Ethel Mertz” impressionist (actress Rhonda Medina) to Jamestown from her home in Texas.
For information about or tickets for the Forever, Darling Golden Anniversary Celebration, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Gift Shop, 300 N. Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701, (716) 484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or online at www.lucy-desi.com.