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I Love Lucy – On Stage Color Footage (1951)

A Request from an “I Love Lucy” fan who lives in New Jersey, United States. This short 8mm Color film Footage was fimed by an audience member of “I Love Lucy”, on the evening of October 12, 1951, at Sound Stage #2 of Desilu Studios, Hollywood, California. The episode fimed that night was 6th Episode of the First Season, “The Audition”.(It was a remake of “I Love Lucy” pilot episode, which was presumed lost until 1990.) Although there were many people who tried to capture the scene of filming, Jess Oppenheimer, the producer and writer of “I Love Lucy”, prohibited it, because of the possibilities of Leaking. Because of this, this footage is the only surviving material of “Behind-the-Scenes” of this legendary sitcom. (It is said that Desi Arnaz filmed some filming scenes using his own 8mm movie camera, but it is not proven.) Of all four main stars, Vivian Vance is not appearing in this footage. Jess Oppenheimer, and the famous cameraman, Karl Freund, are seen briefly.

posted by in Comedies and have Comments (25)

25 Responses to “I Love Lucy – On Stage Color Footage (1951)”

  1. EE9EER says:

    BUT why is it that there is a random person who has a color camera??? MEANWHILE an entire sophisticated production is shooting in w&b ?? i mean i think it adds a bit of mystic to who this mystery man is and why he has color camera and production doesnt?.. thats like today production recording w/ a regular camera and a bystander with a 3D/HD cam…perhaps a clandestine time-capsule thinker …or an alien.. even a time traveler… intriguing!!!!!!

  2. tacosruletheskool says:

    wow. it’s scary. it looks as if you went back in time and recorded it on a flipcam xD

  3. DisneyBlackJet says:

    @bigpeeler 60?!?!

  4. LoveIsLove930 says:

    Let me just say that this would have to be the ONLY behind the scenes footage of ‘I Love Lucy’ I have honestly ever scene and the fact that it’s in COLOR… Thank You @transformingArt :]

  5. ronvins says:

    @aliassylvie3 That’s how I feel about it as well. Greatest show ever!

  6. HylianSpirit says:


    It’s really, really surreal seeing such familiar scenes like these in color.

  7. LZProjects says:

    8mm film was so much better quality in the 50′s.

  8. sccall1024 says:

    its so odd to see it in color lol i cant imagine it no other way but in black and white.

  9. janicevigil says:

    Wow I would have loved to live during this time period! So lovely

  10. Jeffrey76240 says:

    It’s great to see the sets in vivid color..since color t.v. was off in the distance for many years to come..the production costs to film “I Love Lucy” in color would have been prohibited..these color segments are priceless..

  11. MrModernElvis says:

    It really makes you long for those simpler times. Man I wish I had a time machine, I wouldnt change history I would just watch it play out.

  12. uszoninyc says:

    What’s also a credit to Desi, is having Karl Freund as Cinematographer, and filming it. The B&W is so GORGEOUS.

  13. pgraceful says:

    wow…makes me feel like I’m in the live audience…this is the coolest thing! Thanks so much for sharing…I’ve bookmarked this, definately a keep!!!

  14. aliassylvie3 says:

    Whenever the color parts came on I was thining, “Oh, so they really DID exist!” xD Silly because of course they did but the black and white film makes it like they were just fictional characters/a cartoon. If that makes any sense.

  15. falvo244 says:

    The first color T.V. process didn’t come out `till 1953, so it wasn’t an option. Though, they “could” have filmed in color, for archival purposes. They were actually innovative in filming “I Love Lucy” on 35mm, rather than 16mm as was standard throughout the1950′s & 1960′s. That’s why “I Love Lucy” has such a crisp sharp look, in contrast to the kinescopes of the early – mid 1950′s.

  16. delov1 says:

    @adelgado75 I think because back then having a color tv wasnt an option really. Maybe only the rich had them…so i guess they figured keep it black and white. I think color really became popular in the late 50′s early 60′s…as far as television goes.

  17. SmallvilleFann1983 says:

    Woah this is trippy! I wonder what kind of cell phone are using to record this on? LOL JK!

  18. adelgado75 says:

    I wonder why they never filmed in color. I guess this was cheaper.

  19. Thilindel says:

    And to think the Beatles were maybe in 1st grade when this was recorded..

  20. diamondgirl828 says:

    I don’t ever remember Desi gettin down like that on any of the shows and I have seen them all!

  21. elisaalbelo says:

    desi is so adoriblee!!! <33 i wish i could have met him in real life but i wasnt even born till the 90s and he died in the 80s

  22. JDnJBJ4everrr says:

    I watched this video yesterday and then I turn on the show today and it seems a little bit different after watching this…the apartment and also where they did the show thing at too…

  23. JDnJBJ4everrr says:

    @bdutchess85 Yeah it seems a little bit unreal someone else said…

  24. JDnJBJ4everrr says:

    @bdutchess85 Yeah I think I know what you mean….it’s kind of weird… lol

  25. atomicsockhop says:

    Amazing. I always wanted to see the actual set in color. I wish You also had when they were in California & CT

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