The long-awaited Season 3 of “Downton Abbey” premieres Friday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. on Rhode Island PBS. But fans of the international television sensation can get a sneak peek of the new season before the series makes its American television debut.
Rhode Island PBS and the Park Theatre in Cranston are partnering to present a free public screening of the first hour of the new season on Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Park Theatre, Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts, 848 Park Ave., Cranston.
David W. Piccerelli, president and CEO of Rhode Island PBS, announced the pre-screening party is sold out, but that 350 tickets are available for the free public screening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets must be picked up at the Park Theatre box office in advance of the Jan. 3 show.
"We – as much as the fans – are eagerly awaiting the new season of ‘Downton Abbey,’" said Piccerelli. "The response to the series has been amazing."
“Downton Abbey” Season 3 is set in the early 1920s – around the same time The Park Theatre opened in Cranston in 1924. "The Park Theatre is a beautiful and most appropriate location to celebrate this new season of ‘Downton Abbey,’" Piccerelli said.
"We are happy and honored to work with Rhode Island PBS to bring this ‘Downton Abbey’ preview to the 'big screen,'" said Yusuf Gandhi, director of programming at the Park Theatre.
Guests are asked to bring non-perishable food items or canned goods on the night of the show, in a post-holiday food drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Collection boxes for food donations will be located in the Park Theatre lobby.
"The holidays are a time of year when we remember the needs of our neighbors and respond generously," said Gandhi. "Unfortunately, hunger does not come and go with the holiday decorations. There are local families facing hunger and food insecurity all year long."
Written and created by Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” won an impressive six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe in its first season. Recent honors for Season 2 include 16 Primetime Emmy nominations, multi-category nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards and from the Television Critics Association. Viewers were no less passionate, with 17.1 million tuning in across the seven episodes, making “Downton Abbey,” Season 2 the most-watched Masterpiece series on record.