June 03, 2008

Desilu Playhouse Building Donated to Center

As reported by Buffalo Business First, the building that houses Jamestown's Desilu Playhouse has been donated to the organization that pays homage to the late, famed comedic couple.

Gary and Helen Lynn, residents of the Chautauqua County city who own the building, donated the structure to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center. The two-story, early 1900s building has housed the Desilu Playhouse, a central part of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, for the past three years.

"This becomes another asset on our books," said Ric Wyman, Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center Inc. executive director. "It is a major asset."

The building is anchored by a replica of the Tropicana Room, the fictional New York City nightclub where Arnaz worked when episodes of "I Love Lucy" aired on CBS-TV. Also housed in the building is additional Ball and Arnaz memorabilia and a gift shop.

The replica Tropicana Room is not only used as a major stop on the Ball tours in Jamestown, but is also rented out for private parties and receptions.

Ball, who was born in nearby Celeron, called Jamestown her native home.

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center has several buildings in Jamestown that house memorabilia related to the fabled couple and Ball's post-"I Love Lucy" career.

The center is attracting international attention, hosting more than 35,000 visitors on an annual basis, making it a leading Jamestown tourist attraction. The center hosts two Ball-related festivals each year.

"It certainly creates a wholesome family atmosphere and helps put Jamestown on the world map," said Gary Lynn.

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