JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — On Oct. 15th, 1951, America saw the very first episode of “I Love Lucy.”
70 years later, the National Comedy Center — constructed in 2018 in Lucille Ball’s honor — is celebrating that day.
The Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy, and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum will celebrate the show’s 70th anniversary beginning on Friday with special episode screenings throughout the weekend, enhanced Lucy Desi exhibits and new interactive experiences for fans of the beloved TV series.
“70 years since its television premiere, ‘I Love Lucy’ is still loved by millions of fans worldwide,” stated Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum. “With the extraordinary talent of Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley, and the creativity of the Desilu production team, ‘I Love Lucy’ essentially invented television comedy as we know it today. We invite fans to visit our museums throughout this 70th anniversary year as we celebrate the legacy of this remarkable TV show.”
Visitors to Jamestown, N.Y. — Lucille Ball’s hometown — can celebrate the 70th anniversary in a number of ways:
- The National Comedy Center present 70 of the best episodes of “I Love Lucy” in its theater over four days beginning Friday, including the very first episode to be broadcast, “The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub,” and fan favorites like “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (Vitameatavegamin episode), “Job Switching” (chocolate factory episode) and “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (grape stomping episode)
- Visitors can put themselves into an “I Love Lucy” episode with their “Act the Part” exhibit, using green screen technology as they recreate the classic chocolate factory scene, which was named the funniest scene in TV history in 2013
- The Comedy Center features iconic Lucy wardrobe and artifacts, including Lucille Ball’s blue polka dot dress. These exhibit experiences are available to visitors year-round
- At the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, new photo experiences will officially debut this Friday, including the unique opportunity to walk into an exact replica of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s New York apartment set for a photo op. People can also take photos with the six Emmy Awards won by Lucille Ball and interact with new audiovisual presentations and upgraded artifact displays that will also be available year-round.
- Fans can also celebrate virtually by taking part in the Lucy Desi Museum’s new Picture Mosaic experience. Fans are invited to submit photos of themselves to help create a Lucy Desi 70th anniversary mural mosaic, which will take shape in real time as fan photos are received. The mural will be displayed in the museum gallery and online, and become a permanent part of the museum archives. For more details, click HERE.
The Lucy Desi Museum Official Shop is also presenting a 70th anniversary auction of rare and vintage Lucy, Desi and “I Love Lucy,” treasures and collectibles. The online auction runs from now through Oct. 29, with proceeds supporting the museum’s non-profit mission. For more details, click HERE.
The gift shops of both the Comedy Center and the museum are also offering sales through Monday. To make a reservation to visit, click HERE.
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