October 14, 2011

Jamestown celebrates anniversary of 'I Love Lucy'

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, presented "I Love Lucy" on CBS for the first time on Oct. 15, 1951.
The Lucy Desi Center will celebrate the 60th anniversary of this TV classic with assorted events on Saturday in Jamestown, N.Y.

Jamestown resident Greg Peterson will unveil a playbill he discovered which the center believes is the earliest one with Lucy as a star performer.  The playbill promotes a show at an auditorium in Jamestown, N.Y., then known as the Scottish Rite Temple.  Today, it's called the Robert H. Jackson Center, which is where Peterson discovered the playbill and will also introduce it.

Following his presentation, the center will screen the pilot episode of "I Love Lucy" and the first episode of season one: "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub."

Saturday's events also include Lucy Town Bus Tours of Lucy's hometown, birthplace, childhood residence and more at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. At a lunch presentation, John "Jack" Keeney, a historian and current mayor of Celoron, N.Y., will talk about Celoron Amusement Park, Lucy's old stomping grounds.

The Lucy-Desi Museum also has some new exhibits and displays. The door from CBS' Studio A, which Lucy and Desi passed through countless times, is part of a permanent exhibit. They walked through it the first time when they appeared on "The Ed Wynn Show" in December 1949, then two years later to produce the "I Love Lucy" pilot. Such stars as Bob Hope, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, and Katharine Hepburn walked through that door, as well.

The exhibit also features never-before-displayed photographs of Desi Arnaz during his U.S. Army days in early 1940s. The Santa costume from a 1956 "I Love Lucy" Christmas episode that was not aired for 55 years is also on display.

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