May 22, 2009

Here's Lucy Season 1 DVD Set Coming!

As we have previously mentioned on Everything Lucy, the 3rd hit comedy series of Lucille Ball, Here's Lucy will be available on August 25th!

The legendary queen of television comedy, Lucille Ball, is joined by her real-life children in her third long-running sitcom success. Ball plays Lucille Carter, widowed mother of teenagers Kim and Craig, portrayed by Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. Lucy works for her brother-in-law, played by Gale Gordon, who owns Carter's Unique Employment Agency, leading Lucy into endless predicaments and hilarious hijinks.

This complete first season of Here's Lucy (1968-74, CBS-TV) features all 24 color episodes of the 1968-69 season, uncut and digitally remastered from the original 35mm color negatives for superior quality plus a wealth of new and never-before-seen bonus features. The bonus are still being finalized but they will include new videotaped interviews, and introductions, with Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. Guest stars include Vivian Vance, Carol Burnett, Cesar Romero, Eva Gabor, Wally Cox, Howard Keel, Van Johnson, Shelley Winters, Jack Benny, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Wayne Newton, Jackie Gleason, Mary Wickes and Victor Buono.

Be sure to pre-order your copy of "Here's Lucy Season 1 DVD Set" from our Everything Lucy store!

May 15, 2009

Lucy-Desi Days Festival

Although as previously reported about the Lucy-Desi Center Giftshop closing or more rather a consolidation due to these economic times, the Lucy-Desi Festival will feature many highlights.

The Lucy-Desi Festival will be held in Jamestown, NY next weekend, May 22nd to 24th. Among the activities planned for this three-day annual festival:

•Lucie Arnaz: "An Evening with Lucie Arnaz" - a special fundraiser for the Lucy-Desi Center being held at the historic Reg Lenna Civic Center (Tickets $25)

•Komedy Kollege - Directed by Diane Vincent (Lucy Ricardo), recreate one of three "I Love Lucy" episodes, Job Switching, Lucy Does a TV Commerical, and Lucy's Italian Movie. (Tickets $20 includes a Lucy-Desi T-shirt)

•Legend event with Keith Thibodeaux - Meet Keith Thibodeaux, the actor who played Little Ricky. Each ticket holder will have their photo taken with Keith on the Ricardo's living room set. Breakfast will follow wtih a Q&A session with Keith. This is your chance to hear his memories personally from working on "I Love Lucy". This event is hosted by Tom Watson. (Tickets $100)

•Trivia Contest - Randomly selected audience members will have a chance to prove their Lucy-Desi knowlege. Prize baskets awarded to winners! (Tickets $10)

•The Unexpected Guests - Jamestown's own highly-acclaimed improv group pays tribtue to America's First Couple of Comedy. (Tickets $10)

•"America Alive" TV Interview with Lucille Ball - a rarely seen 70s TV show that paid tribute and interviewed Lucille Ball. Co-hosted by Wanda Clark, Lucille Ball's longtime personal secretary and Michael Stern, proclaimed by Lucy as her number one fan. (Tickets $15)

•Orson Wells & Desilu Studios - Enjoy screenings of rare TV episodes featuring Lucy and Orson Wells together. Followed by discussions lead by Tom Watson and Dann Cahn. (Tickets $15)

•Lucy Town Tours: A two-hour video-enhanced tour of Lucy's hometown with a special mystery guest aboard an air-conditioned bus (Tickets $20 includes memento)

•Fan Reunion Cruise aboard The Summer Wind - hosted by Wanda Clark, Michael Stern, and John Schillner on beautiful Lake Chautauqua. Boards in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celeron, just outside Jamestown. Limited seating. (Tickets $50)

•Tropicana Luncheon: "Fountain of Youth" - Have lunch in The Tropicana Room as you view a rarely seen TV piolot created by Orson Wells and Desilu Studios. Hosted by Dann Cahn and Tom Watson (Tickets $25)

•Lucy Under the Stars - Enjoy an outdoor screenings of "I Love Lucy" episodes. Popcorn and beverages available for purchase. (Free event)

•Film Festival "Life With Lucy" - View three rarely seen episodes from Lucy's final TV series. Co-hosted by Michael Stern and Wanda Clark (Tickets $10)

For a complete schedule of events for the Lucy Desi Festival, click here!

For more information, go online to www.lucy-desi.com.

May 14, 2009

Lucy Desi Center to Close Gift Shop

As reported in the Jamestown Post-Journal: The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center has announced plans to close the gift shop and sell the building, which is located on the corner of North Main and Third streets. All of the gift shop’s inventory has been moved to the nearby Desilu Playhouse and the Lucy-Desi Museum & Gift Shop. Photo by Kristen Johnson.

Necessity and a sour economy have forced the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center to close its gift shop.

Last month, all of the inventory from the gift shop, which is located at 300 N. Main St., was moved to the Lucy-Desi Museum and Gift Shop and the Desilu Playhouse, both of which are located on West Third Street.

"Essentially, everything that was in the gift shop was already in the playhouse and the museum, so we felt (the gift shop) was redundant," said Mike LaTone, president of the center's Board of Directors. "We decided to consolidate. It just doesn't make sense to operate out of three locations for a lot of reasons."

LaTone said eventually, the center plans to sell the gift shop building. During a board of directors meeting set for today, LaTone said board members would decide whether they want to list the building and determine its selling price.

One way or the other, LaTone said the center "really can't afford to keep" the gift shop building - primarily because operating out of three buildings "doesn't make a lot of sense." And it makes even less sense, LaTone said, to take customers through the playhouse and museum only to send them across a busy thoroughfare in order to purchase collectibles and other items.

Even so, LaTone said he is reluctant to sell the building.

"Nobody wants to give up property - especially in a downtown area - but the fact is that we've got to change," he said. "It just doesn't make sense to keep doing things the way we've been doing them. I would honestly rather rent the building. A tenant paying $1,200 to $1,500 a month would really help our cash flow."

LaTone said he has already shown the gift shop building to "a couple" of prospective buyers, but he hasn't had any bites just yet.

Two part-time employees have been brought back, LaTone said, and are working at the museum and playhouse. There's also a person staffing the center's mail-order operation, which is currently housed in the gift shop building. After the Lucy-Desi Days festival later this month, LaTone said the mail-order operation would be moved to the playhouse.

"It's a decision made out of necessity and made because the economy isn't really great right now," he said. "To be honest with you, I don't see this as a bad thing at all. It's just another decision - a hard one - that we had to make in order to keep the center that we all love up and running. That's all."

Closing and selling the gift shop is just the latest in a string of decisions the center's Board of Directors has had to make in recent months as it tries to deal with a financial situation LaTone has called "fragile" and move in new directions. Several employees have been laid off and hours at the gift shop, museum and playhouse were recently reduced as part of the board's efforts to trim expenses to keep the center open. In addition, the terms of three former board members - Bill Daly, Caroline Seymour and Chuck Ludwig - recently expired and the center is working on filling those seats.

Center officials are also waiting to announce the hire of a new executive director, an announcement that LaTone has said is "just waiting for the right time."

"I think there's a lot of good stuff going on," he said. "In spite of some of the decisions we've had to make, I still think we're doing the right things. Change is hard, sometimes, but our ultimate goal is protecting the center and making it stable and profitable for years to come."

May 04, 2009

Lucille Ball’s Daughter To Headline Celebration

As reported in the Jamestown Post-Journal:

Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will return to Jamestown next month to perform during the Lucy-Desi Days celebration.

"It's always nice to come back to Jamestown, especially in the spring when the dogwoods and the lilacs are in bloom," she said. "I'm very excited to come back (this) month."

Mrs. Luckinbill will perform an hour-long show at the Reg Lenna Civic Center on Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. as part of a fundraising event aimed at helping the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center overcome some of the financial challenges it has faced due to the rough economy. All tickets will be $25 and may be ordered by calling 484-0800 ext. 203. The performance will be followed by a separate fundraising gala reception for those who would like to meet Mrs. Luckinbill in person. Cost is $100 per ticket.

Libby Nord, the center's creative director, called Mrs. Luckinbill an "accomplished performer with a wry sense of humor and a talent for putting the right emotion into every song she sings."

"As we celebrate the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the presence of their daughter makes the weekend even more special," Nord said.

Mrs. Luckinbill has performed during the Lucy-Desi Days celebration in years past. She said recently she is "really looking forward" to performing in Jamestown again.

"I love singing - it's such a charge to sing with the big band," she said. "Last time I performed, we did a Latin show as a tribute to my father. But this time, it's not a tribute to anyone - it's just great music and some songs I've fallen in love with. I'm so happy to come back and sing to help the center out."

Mrs. Luckinbill said she fully supports the center's new board of directors as they work to overcome what board chairman Mike LaTone has called a "fragile financial time."

"They've got some great people on the board right now and I think they're really going in great directions," she said. "As far as Desi and I are concerned, things are the same as they ever were. We've got very high hopes for the center and the direction its going in."

Other special guests at the festival will include Keith Thibodeaux, who played Little Ricky; Dan Cahn, film editor for the "I Love Lucy" show; Wanda Clark, Lucille Ball's personal secretary; and Tom Watson, founder and president of the "I Love Lucy" fan club.

The festival will run from May 22 to May 24. Among other things, it will include a two-hour video enhanced bus tour of Lucille Ball's hometown, screenings of rarely seen episodes from her final television series, outdoor screenings of 'I Love Lucy' episodes, a fan reunion cruise aboard Summer Wind on Chautauqua Lake and a screening of a 1978 interview with Lucille Ball.

For more information about the festival, call 484-0800. A full schedule of events is available online at www.lucy-desi.com.

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