Worth The Drive: 2 Museums Pay Tribute To Lucy And Comedy
Whether you grew up watching I Love Lucy in the 1950s, or have discovered the classic sitcom in the years since, chances are youve met the Ricardos.
Lucy has never been forgotten and is making news at the moment thanks to the new film, Being the Ricardos now streaming on Amazon Prime. Since 1996, the madcap comediennes legacy has also been kept alive through the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in Lucys hometown of Jamestown, New York. A state-of-the-art National Comedy Center opened a few blocks away in 2018.
Within six months after its debut on Oct. 15, 1951, I Love Lucy earned a place as Americas #1 show with about 11 million households tuning in. At the time there were only about 15 million TV households in the nation. The plot centered around a New York couple and their neighbors. Wacky Lucy always meant well when trying to help her Cuban bandleader husband, Ricky, but often got into trouble along with her friend and partner-in-crime, Ethel Mertz.
The new movie, Being the Ricardos, takes place during a significant week of filming that focuses on the couples behind-the-scenes relationship. The week presents a triple-whammy: splashy news headlines about Desis alleged affair, accusations about Balls connections to communism and the news of Balls pregnancy. The Aaron Sorkin film stars Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz.
About the museums
Hop On A Time Capsule At Dykeman Young Inc Gallery And Vintage Emporium
Dykeman Young, Inc. Gallery and Vintage Emporium is another ideal destination for the old souls, featuring an eclectic collection of vintage memorabilia, arts, and more.
This museum features a variety of vintage wardrobes worn by famous artists who starred in popular Hollywood movies and a collection of local arts.
Amp up your fan experience to the next level and score one of your favorite Hollywood artists’ theatrical costumes, and you can also get dibs on a unique piece from local artists.
Make sure to plan your visit for a nostalgic experience and support the local artistic community of Jamestown showcased in the art gallery.
All displayed items are available for purchase for a reasonable price, so make sure to bring home a gem you find from your visit to Dykeman Young Inc., Gallery, and Vintage Emporium.
Where To Park For The National Comedy Center
Its hard to miss all the Lucy murals as youre driving into town. This scene, on the side of the Third St. parking garage depicts the famous Vitameatavegamin commercial. You can act out this scene at the Desi-Lu Playhouse.
This is my number one question when I go somewhere new: Where do I park???
And unfortunately for National Comedy Center visitors, it is not the easiest question to answer.
Because the museum was built right in downtown, in the old train station , it does not have its own parking lot
Please note, there are a few handicapped parking spots available right at the museum.
There is now a small parking lot for Comedy Center visitors just down the street, on 2nd Street. Just follow the bright neon signs.
If this is full, you do have several other options for parking, which will vary based on how much youre willing to spend. I like to find the free parking spots available on the street, and then walk over to the museum.
There is a parking garage in downtown on Third St. .
There is also on-street parking, though there is usually a two-hour limit during the week.
After 5 on weekdays, and on Saturdays and Sundays, parking is free, even if theres a meter.
The Comedy Center is on the corner of 2nd St. and Washington St. It has huge flashing screens that never turn off, day or night, so its pretty hard to miss.
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Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum
A Legacy of Laughter
The legacy of Lucille Ball has been proudly honored right here in Lucys hometown of Jamestown by the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum since 1996. For decades, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz played a vital role in television and on the big screen, and were fortunate to have the privilege of preserving their memory and the impact theyve both had on the world through all of the fun costumes and screen-used memorabilia on display, awards they were both given, photographs of both their personal and TV lives, and much more!
Explore the Incredible Life Stories and Careers of Lucy and Desi
The Ultimate I Love Lucy Experience
The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum features exact recreations of the studio sets from the most beloved TV comedy of all time, I Love Lucy, including the Ricardos New York City apartment living room and kitchen, and their Hollywood hotel suite. Also featured are live-sized mural of the original studio audience, the opportunity to be a part of your very own Viteameatavegamin commercial, Lucille Balls Emmy awards, a look into the history and creation of I Love Lucy, and more.
Inside the Museum
Lucille Ball Memorial Park In Jamestown Ny
Next on my list of things to do in Jamestown NY, its a visit to Lucille Ball Memorial Park. A lovely village park located in Lucilles hometown, this memorial park features a public boat launch and docks, a park with a playground and picnic tables galore. Its a beautiful spot to visit in Jamestown NY.
Theres also a great photo opportunity available here, as theres a life-size statue of Lucille Ball within the park that serves as an eternal tribute to her memory. Another great choice for things to do in Jamestown NY.
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Explore The History Of American Comedy At National Comedy Center
If you are looking for a unique exploration experience, Jamestown is home to the National Comedy Center.
The National Comedy Center is a museum dedicated to celebrating the history of American comedy and the notable figures who have contributed their influence to the development of comedy in the United States.
The museum features several interactive exhibits, and they customize your experiences according to your preferences in a personalized wristband.
There are various preserved comedy archives like unpublished comedy material, rare photographs, and scripts written by world-renowned artists.
The combination of exciting history and laughter from the exhibits will surely delight the young and the old alikewhatever your preference may be, the National Comedy Center has got it all.
The National Comedy Center also organizes events, like the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and plenty of live stand-up comedy shows that will complete your experience.
Score a quirky souvenir from the Comedy Shop as a remembrance of your fun experience at the National Comedy Center.
A trip to the National Comedy Center is truly an enjoyable experience, so make sure to plan your trip and interact with the exhibits to get the most out of the entertainment center.
The Detailed Laughsafe Health And Safety Program Features Include:
- Masks are required for all guests while on the Museum campus, regardless of vaccination status.
- Museum capacity has been reduced and timed guest entry protocols have been implemented.
- Advanced online reservations are strongly recommended to ensure entry.
- Certain exhibit experiences in contained spaces are limited to small groups consisting of members of same household.
- Social distancing markers and signage have been placed throughout the museum to ensure proper physical distance between guests.
- Hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the museum.
- Touch-free, contactless payment options are now available.
- Museum team members have been trained extensively for new health and safety protocols.
- State-of-the-art, deep cleaning and disinfecting techniques have been implemented, including frequent disinfecting throughout the day.
Please help us ensure the health and safety of all guests and team members:
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Discover Robert H Jackson’s Life At Robert H Jackson Center
If you want to delve deeper into Jamestown’s history, visit the Robert H. Jackson Center to discover the legacy of the notable figure of justice.
A wide array of exhibits and archives of important history are housed in a beautiful old mansion in Jamestown, a historically important venue to educate the people.
This historical center showcases Robert H. Jackson’s scholarly work and political contributions dedicated to the principles of equality, fairness, and justice.
History buffs will appreciate the expansive collection of historically significant exhibits.
If you are interested in learning about Americas history, a trip to Robert H. Jackson Center is worth a few hours of your time when you visit Jamestown.
Make sure to stop by and tour the historical center with an informative guide that will walk you through a lot of historical information.
Doubletree By Hilton In Jamestown Ny
First on my list of where to stay in Jamestown NY, its Doubletree by Hilton. With a great location in the heart of Jamestown, this hotel is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to be as close to the action as possible, and its a fantastic choice for Jamestown hotels.
Though a little pricier, its only 5 minutes from the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, the National Comedy Center and the Northwest Arena. Featuring an indoor pool, gym, restaurant and lobby bar, its certainly an upscale way to enjoy the city this is a great place to visit in Jamestown NY.
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Crown Street Roasting Company
A great local favourite in Jamestown, NY is the Crown Street Roasting Company. Known for their amazing bagels and Lucy Latte , its a great spot that even grinds their coffee in-house!
With plenty of freshly baked goods and an excellent central location, its the perfect place to grab a bite before setting off on your Jamestown NY adventure for the day.
Go For A Picnic At Chadakoin Park
Located just a few minutes away from the Jamestown Riverwalk is the perfect family gathering spot, Chadakoin Park.
The park features a pavilion for gatherings, a basketball court, and a huge playground with various playsets that are fun for all ages.
Enjoy the vibrant open space in the park where you can watch birds, play with your furry friends, or simply relax and enjoy the surroundings.
Make sure to pack some snacks and head out to Chadakoin Park for a fun day out with the family.
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With Dual Admission To The National Comedy Centerour Most Popular Ticket And The Best Value
Inspired by Lucys vision for her hometown to become a celebration of comedy, the award-winning National Comedy Center takes you laugh-filled, interactive journey through the world of comedy.
See why visitors and the media are raving about this one-of-a-kind experience, recently selected by USA Today as the Best New Museum in the country, and by TIME as one of its Worlds Greatest Places.
Catch A Live Performance At Lucille Ball Little Theatre
A trip to Jamestown wouldn’t be complete without being part of world-class entertainment from Lucille Ball Little Theatre.
The theatre is home to creative expressionism through live performances and education, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to appreciate the talent of Jamestown performers.
Witness the artistic community of Jamestown on-stage at Lucille Ball Little Theatre.
The Lucille Ball Little Theatre also hosts events collaborating with famous performers and artists check for updates and meet these successful people in theatrical arts.
Nothing beats watching a live performance with the family, be sure to plan your visit to the theatre on your trip to Jamestown.
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Explore The Incredible Lives And Careers Of Lucy And Desi
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were pioneering artists, innovators, and cultural icons. Learn about their fascinating life stories, their creation of the powerhouse Desilu Studios, and their lasting influence on the course of American cultural history.
Experience one-of-a-kind artifacts, rarely-seen footage, and unique exhibits that illuminate the Lucy Desi story for comedy fans of all generations. Youre sure to notice something new each visit!
I Love Lucy Gift Shop
Desi Arnaz Born March 2nd 1917
American people have the ability to laugh at themselves. It is one of the things that makes this country the great country that it is. Desi Arnaz
On March 2nd, 1917, the legendary actor, performer, musician, producer, entertainment mogul, innovator, and star: Desiderio Alberto Arnaz III, was born in Santiago, Cuba.
Desi Arnazs great-great grandfather, Don Manuel Arnaz, had settled in California in the 1899s and owned land which is now part of Beverly Hills, the Wilshire district and much of the San Fernando Valley. The name Ventura, well known in southern California was from Desis great-great grandmother.
His father, Desiderio Arnaz II, was mayor of Santiago, the original capital of Cuba. His mother, Dolores de Acha, was the daughter of one of the founders of the Bacardi Rum Company. His grandfather, Don Desiderio, was a physician who accompanied Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan Hill.
Desi Arnaz spent the early years of his life in a privileged environment many houses, grand vacations and recreational opportunities. His family planned for him to attend Notre Dame University and become an attorney.
Desi Arnaz was attending St. Patricks High School in Miami in 1936 when he made his show business debut. He was hired to play guitar and sing in a small rhumba band the Siboney Septet at the Roney Plaza Hotel in Miami Beach.
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Eda Investments Help Turn Love Of Laughter Into A Top National Museum
A $1.64 million EDA Public Works program investment made in 2016 in the National Comedy Center of Jamestown, New York, helped turn the facility into a top national museum by supporting the construction and installation of high-technology attraction equipment in the newly renovated center. The prior year, EDA provided the County of Jamestown a discretionary fund grant to support the technical grant writing assistance needed to help the community secure this vital investment.
Today, the National Comedy Center is a tourist destination estimated to attract over 114,000 visitors a year to the region and the project has helped create 184 jobs and spur $23 million in private investment.
TIME Magazine cover of Worldâs 100 Greatest Places of 2019
This is no joke: The National Comedy Center was named one of TIME magazines âWorldâs Greatest Placesâ in the publicationâs Sept. 2, 2019 cover story where they were selected as one of only â100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right nowâ and listed as one of the top destinations to visit in the United States.
Congress has designated the center as the nationâs official cultural institution dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations.
This project is an integral component of Jamestown and Chautauqua County’s efforts to build a healthy economy of which destination tourism is a critical component!
Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Next on my list of hotels in Jamestown NY, its the Holiday Inn. If youre looking to stay rested and recharge without absolutely breaking the bank, Holiday Inn Express & Suites is a great option for travelers.
With a breakfast of champions waiting for you each morning , its a cost-effective way to save on food costs during your trip whilst covering the essentials youll need amenity-wise. This is a great choice for where to stay in Jamestown NY.
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Audubon Community Nature Center
Next on my list of things to do in Jamestown NY, its the Audubon Community Nature Center. This place is a dedicated spot that aims to educate people about the great outdoors and empower its visitors to act in responsible, environmental ways.
Located on a 600-are wetland preserve with plenty of trails and picnic areas, its a great place to de-compress and enjoy Jamestowns natural offerings. A great option for things to do in Jamestown NY.
In An Every Day Small Town
I am legitimately super excited to tell you all about this place, because not only do I truly love it, its right in my hometown! Its crazy to think that an attraction this cool is literally within walking distance of my house.
When I walk through the doors, I feel as if Ive just stepped out of little Jamestown, NY, and into a major city. They did an amazing job with it, and I absolutely want everybody to experience it.
I am, of course, talking about the National Comedy Center .
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Some Interesting History About Jamestown Ny
You may have heard Jamestown being referred to as the The Pearl City due to its agricultural history. As settlers began to come to Jamestown, the abundant forests quickly became cash crop territory, with hardwood too heavy to float downstream burned to the ground.
Now, where does the pearl come into this equation? Well, this burned hardwood had its ash leeched to obtain lye and pearl ash that was an important component in the manufacturing of glass products.
Named Jamestown NY after its first settler James Prendergast, Jamestowns rich history continued to flourish as immigrants from Italian, Irish and English backgrounds began to settle. Becoming a city in 1886 as its population reached 15,000, it started to flourish into the economically vibrant community that it is today.
Where Is Jamestown Ny
Jamestown NY is situated between Lake Erie and the Allegheny National Forest . Jamestown NY is in southern Chautauqua County, New York.
Jamestown NY is 284 miles from the famous New York City, so it is possible to take a trip to Jamestown from the city if youre looking for a short day trip from NYC, or a weekend away from the city! Jamestown NY is a perfect weekend getaway idea if you live in New York State or NYC.
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