The Desilu Playhouse
in the Rapaport Center
2 W. 3rd Street
in LUCILLE BALL’S HOMETOWN!
Jamestown, New York 14701
Hours: 10-5:30 Monday-Saturday, 1-5 Sundays
For more information, call (toll-free) 1-877-LUCY-FAN (582-9326).
The Desilu Playhouse is the permanent home of the “I Love Lucy”
50th Anniversary Tour that traveled the country in 2001-2002 to
celebrate the most popular show ever on television. Exhibited at
convention centers, state fairs, music festivals, casinos, and more, it
featured exact reproductions of the original sets. Following the tour,
the exhibit was stored in Houston, Texas.
In the summer of 2005, five 53’ tractor trailers moved the “I Love Lucy”
50th Anniversary Tour to Lucille Ball’s hometown, where it was
installed in the Desilu Playhouse of the Rapaport Center. Named after
the studio at 847 Lillian Way in Hollywood where “I Love Lucy”
was actually filmed, the Desilu Playhouse was made possible by the
generosity of Bill and Mary Rapaport of Buffalo, New York. We hope your
visit will make you feel like you were part of the studio action!
Your experience starts when you’re buzzed into the Desilu Playhouse
Studios from the admissions counter. Once inside, you’ll first learn
about Lucy’s radio series, My Favorite Husband. Then you’ll see larger-than-life photographs, biographies of the four stars of “I Love Lucy”,
the famous kitchen set (where Lucy and Ethel concocted countless
schemes) and the most famous living room in TV history! Turn the corner
and you’re in Hollywood! Yes, the set of the Beverly Palms Hotel (where
Lucy set her nose on fire when meeting William Holden and pantomimed
with Harpo Marx) has been painstakingly recreated.
Also on display is the custom-made editing machine known as the “three
headed monster” that film editor Dann Cahn used to edit the most
popular show ever on television. A life-sized wall image shows the
studio audience at a toping of “I Love Lucy”;
Desi can be seen with his back to the cameras, “warming up” the
audience, and both Lucy’s and Desi’s mothers are in the picture. And
that’s not all: showcases of memorabilia, video clips, and much more
await you. Currently, the necklaces Lucy wore in 1952 when she played
Camille, Queen of the Gypsies, are showcased here. And don’t miss your
chance to step on the “Vitameatavegamin” set and perform your own
version of that famous TV commercial!
The Gift Shop features a great assortment of “I Love Lucy” merchandise, sales from which help to maintain the operation of the Desilu Playhouse.