I LOVE LUCY – JAMESTOWN, NY – 25 September 2013

This is being posted Friday night, 27 September, from from one of the nicest B&Bs I have ever stayed at – The Rufus Tanner House in Pine City, NY – just outside Elmira.  Worth the trip.

I played hooky Wednesday afternoon, and drove a few miles south to Jamestown, NY, birthplace of Lucille Ball.  Hey, if you are nearby, and you grew up with Lucy (who hasn’t – continuously showed for over 60 years) you have to stop.  And, it is worth the stop.  The architecture around town is great too.

LB-1In two parts   THE LUCY DESI CENTER FOR COMEDY includes I Love Lucy memorabilia; and next door, the Desilu Studios which is the home of the 50th anniversary traveling exhibit of sets and history that made its permanent home here in 2005.  Enjoy their website, and in way of introduction here are some details from their website:

The LUCI DESI MUSEUM  – Since 1996, Lucy’s hometown has welcomed visitors from all over the world to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in the heart of downtown Jamestown, New York. Inside its doors you’ll find a warm salute to the First Couple of Comedy! Here you’ll see priceless costumes, awards, photographs, and other vintage memorabilia on display from the estates of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.  — There is no photography in this area, but you can read all about what is there on the link above.

DESILU STUDIOS is devoted to the “I Love Lucy” TV series.  It is home of original props, costumes, memorabilia and more.  Inside, you’ll also find complete re-creations of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s New York City apartment and the Hollywood hotel suite where Lucy pantomimed with Harpo Marx and set her nose on fire with William Holden! — and here are some views from the 50th anniversary traveling exhibit.







The Second New York City Apartment (with window) – Kitchen behind the wall


Suite from Beverly Palms Hollywood Hotel


Film editing machine developed for the show.  Previously single cameras were used, but with I LOVE LUCY for the first time 3 cameras filmed at once, and then combined.  It took time to edit on one machine as done before which was easy with single shots.  With this new combination the three films taken simultaneous could be viewed at once and edited. (I LOVE LUCY was the first filmed TV show for distribution – formerly shows were televised live, and film made as it was broadcast for later distribution.  Sorry I forget the name of that poor quality process).


Live Like Lucy! Bedroom Set: An example of the popularity of the First Couple of Comedy, the “I Love Lucy” bedroom set seen here was advertised in Life magazine in 1953 for $198.00. Purchased in 1953 by Gladys Viola Bladys of Springville, New York, this set was donated to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center by her son, Don Bladys, in 2004.


And when I left the museum I decided to drive back up the east side of Lake Chautauqua across the top and then back down the west side to the Atheneum Hotel.  Glad I did because I discovered Bemis Pt. and the old Hotel Lenhart (first built in 1880, burned, rebuilt in 1891, and run by the fourth generation of original owners).


And yes rocking chairs.  I have now started a page for my rocking chair collection, and you will see another Hotel Lenhart line up there.


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5 Responses to I LOVE LUCY – JAMESTOWN, NY – 25 September 2013

  1. Marian says:

    How great Ray. Love all of the history of Lucy and Desi and Lenhart Hotel.
    I will take a red rocker. -:)
    Looked up the B&B. Very nice. Careful on your venture home.
    Looks like you have nice weather.
    We have wind, rain and I can feel the snow coming up fast. B.r.r.r.


  2. Betty says:

    It’s odd to see the set in color on your blog; it looks so different from the black and white I’m used to from TV.

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  4. Harold S says:

    The “poor quality process” for filming live tv shows in the 1950s you refer to was called kinescoping. A kinescope (I believe it’s called something different in the UK), was a movie filmed off a tv picture tube, and it did not produce nearly as good a quality picture as filming directly. Videotape did not come along until 1956, and even so the only remaining record of many shows originally recorded on videotape is still kinescopes, and many videotaped shows are lost entirely because the networks often erased them and reused the tapes, to save money. Another notable exception to the “live” tv look of the 1950s kinescopes, is the original episodes of The Honeymooners. They were recorded using the DuMont Electronicam system, a description of which is beyond the scope of this post, but suffice to say, it recorded the episodes direct to film, thus insuring they were preserved. Contrary to what some people believe, I think the originally syndicated 39 episodes of The Honeymooners, were broadcast on CBS, not DuMont, because the DuMont TV network was pretty much finished by 1955 or 1956.

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