Fans of the British drama “Downton Abbey” will be pleased to know that a special, free screening of the first episode of the last season will take place at the Liberty Center Association for the Arts Inc. on Friday, Dec. 11.
LCAA along with KMOS-TV, of Warrensburg, are working together to bring the special presentation to viewers before the sixth and final season begins Jan. 3.
Terri Ballard, LCAA director, said renovations at LCAA are progressing and the building will be ready for the Dec. 11 screening.
“This will be a great time for people to come and get a sneak peek at the Liberty Center, too,” she said.
Ballard, a fan of the show, is excited the first episode will be showing at LCAA.
“I love ‘Downton Abbey’,” she said. “I’m excited to have this partnership with KMOS Public Television.
“I started watching ‘Downton Abbey’ two seasons ago,” Ballard added. “I was hooked immediately, because I’d heard friends talking about it. It’s just sort of an old English soap opera. It’s scandalous and there’s a lot of history and story. It’s just a great show to watch.”
Her favorite character is Dame Maggie Smith.
“The little old lady, she’s a dowager,” Ballard said. “She’s just a little ornery, and you see her in the show publicly as very refined. But, behind-the-scenes, every now and then, it comes out that she’s had an affair with a Russian Emperor from her younger days. She has some great one-liners.”
Ballard said this is the first time for LCAA and KMOS-TV to work together and she hopes it won’t be the last.
“Hopefully we can do some things in collaboration with them,” she said.
She added that there are plans for KMOS to also air the last and final episode of “Downton Abbey” at LCAA in the spring.
Before the evening screening at LCAA, the Heard Memorial Club House will host a special “Downton Abbey” event for those planning to attend the viewing.
“They are having a ‘Downton Abbey’ wine and cheese tasting from 4 to 6 p.m.” Ballard added. “So, it will be a whole evening of ‘Downton Abbey.’ You don’t have to, but they would love it if people would dress in period clothing.”
Jackie Fike, president of Sorosis at the Heard House, is working with Sylvia Hopkins to bring the club house’s events together.
She said the day will begin with lunch at the Hotel Bothwell Ivory Grille with a menu featuring food from “Downton Abbey.”
“We wanted a whole day of that whole feeling,” she added.”You start the day at Ivory Grille … it’s going to be fun.”
“I loaned them my ‘Downton Abbey’ cookbook,” Hopkins added. “I think the chefs are using some recipes from it. They are probably adapting them.”
Hopkins added that her cookbook is called the “Unofficial ‘Downton Abbey’ Cookbook.”
After a lunch at the Ivory Grille, 317 S. Ohio Ave., those participating will go to the Heard House for wine and cheese.
She added that a new entity at the Heard House, LINK, printed the tickets for the “Downton Abbey” wine and cheese event.
A press release issued by KMOS-TV said the new season will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3 and run through March 6. Episodes will air again at 10 p.m. the following Saturday.
“Since ‘Downton Abbey’s’ first season, its American audience has grown at a phenomenal rate, more than doubling by Season 5, which reached 25.5 million viewers,” the release said. “The show is consistently one of the most-watched dramas on American television, often beating all competitors in its Sunday night time slot.
“Written and created by Julian Fellowes, ‘Downton Abbey’ has received 59 Emmy nominations, more than any other British show in Emmy history. It is one of the most honored series on television, having captured 11 Emmys, three Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Producers Guild Award, and three BAFTAs.”
The Heard Memorial Club House “Downton Abbey” wine and cheese event is from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11. The cost is $5; tickets can be purchased ahead of time by calling Fike at 826-6511 or paid at the door at 200 W. Broadway Blvd.
KMOS-TV said the “Downton Abbey” screening event is free and open to the public. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at LCAA, 111 W. Fifth St. Pre-registration is required because space is limited. For more information and to register, visit www.kmos.org or call 800-753-3436. Those interested in attending may also email Ballard at [email protected]
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.