The Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown, Inc. got its start in 1920 as “The Players Club” started by Madelyn Jones Osgood and a group of interested thespians; a regional community theater group. In 1929, a young woman named Lucille Ball was cast in a play called “Within the Law”; this was Lucy’s first acting experience outside of school. In 1936, George and Harriet Warren came to Jamestown with experience from the Cleveland Playhouse and were hired as permanent, paid directors. The Warrens spearheaded the evolution of “The Players Club” into a new organization called “The Little Theatre of Jamestown”. The Little Theatre presented a full season of productions with revenue from annual memberships. From 1936 to 1945, membership grew from 1,100 to 5,400 Season Tickets; making Little Theater the largest membership theatre in the United States at the time. After continued growth and hugely successful seasons a permanent location was sought to house the organization. Jamestown's longest running entertainment facility, known as Shea's Theater, located at 18 East Second Street had recently become available. It was decided to proceed with the purchase of the historic building in 1968 and to create a smaller theatre inside the old Vaudeville Theatre, which had been closed for five years. The ornate, Italian renaissance 2,000 seat auditorium was covered and scaled down to a 405-seat auditorium with a large front lobby area. A minimalist design approach was taken for the creation of the new home of the organization. The new theatre held its grand opening on April 19, 1969. Early in 1989, Lucille Ball allowed us to rename the theatre; Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown in her honor. On April 26th, 1989, Jamestown’s most famous person, Lucille Ball, had passed away. A formal dedication was held on May 24, 1991 to rename the theatre in her honor, with her daughter Lucie Arnaz and family in attendance. In January of 2020, the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown, Inc. will enter its 84th Season of celebrating the performing arts through live theatre, entertainment, education and community involvement. The organization remains New York State’s longest-running community theater.
Currently the Lucille Ball Little Theatre is a Community Theatre with 5 major productions each year, plus the annual Junior Guilders Show. The Theatre Season is January to December. It has a 405 seat auditorium and a 30 X 60 foot lobby, a full stage with a fly capability plus office, check room and toilet facilities. The theatre is handicap accessible. The plays or musicals are presented for two weekends. All productions are open to the public and special group prices are available.
Click here for more information on the history of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre
Lucille Ball Little Theatre
of Jamestown, Inc.
Location 18 East second Street Jamestown, NY 14701
What Our audiences Are Saying
-> We are so impressed with the quality of these shows. Come see for yourselves!
-> Very nice experience and tons of talent!
-> Great place for large entertainment on a small scale. I have been to several different shows over the years and even was in a couple of them many years ago. The quality of performances is still very high.
-> Loved all my years spent at little theater. It was my home away from home. I continue to wish them a very prosperous future and pray the lights will always be on. I don't think people realize what a gem this is in our community.