Tea Party

Dallas throws down for Downton Abbey with tea parties and costumes

Dallas throws down for Downton Abbey with tea parties and costumes

Downton Abbey
The film version of TV series Downton Abbey will premiere in Dallas on September 19. Jason Bell/Focus Features

The movie version of the Downton Abbey TV show, due to open on September 19, may not earn the box office of Brad Pitt's Ad Astra, which is opening on the same day.

But Downton shan't lack for fanfare, with tea parties and costume contests galore to welcome its arrival. Pull out your best flapper dress and get ready to have a spot at these events:

Friday, September 20
Opening Night-Special Screening/Costume Contest will take place at the Irving location of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, at 320 Las Colinas Blvd.

The event will be hosted by The British Emporium, the original U.K. food and gift store, located in Grapevine, and classical music radio station WRR 101.1 FM. Moviegoers will be greeted by staff that will seem like they came straight from Highclere Castle.

Attendees are encouraged to come in period costume, as there will be a costume contest before the movie starts. There will be prizes, special Downton Abbey merchandise available, photo opportunities, and more.

Downton Abbey Movie Premier & Exclusive Fan Party will take place at the Harkins Southlake Town Center 14 theater at 1450 Plaza Pl., in Southlake.

Hosted by Southlake Travel, it's a cozy private showing with door prizes, a best-dressed costume prize, a special Downton Abbey swag bag, popcorn, and refreshments. Doors open at 6 pm.

Tickets are $15 and are first-come, first-serve. With a small theater reserved for an exclusive movie showing, they recommend you buy your ticket now.

Saturday, September 21
Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea will go down at the Cinemark West Plano and XD theatre, to celebrate the Crawleys coming to the big screen.

Orchestrated by Chocolate Angel Cafe & Tearoom, this tea party will make guests feel like they're actual members of the Crawley clan, with free refreshments and themed fun for fans to enjoy right before they enter the theater.

Expect the flavors of a traditional estate tea-time with catered English finger sandwiches and bite-size desserts inspired by the film, along with additional complimentary hors d'oeuvre.

Themed attire is encouraged, and Cinemark is providing a photo-op for Instagram and other life-affirming social media sites.

The event will not be ticketed, and appetizers will be free to all Cinemark guests. They'll also offer specialty teas and film-inspired cocktails for purchase to enhance the nostalgia throughout the opening week of the film.

The tea begins at 2:30 pm, and the film screens at 4 pm.

According to a Cinemark spokesperson, the theater chain is hosting tea parties in only three locations: West Plano; Boca Raton, Florida; and Playa Vista, California. The response has been particularly strong in Texas, the spokesperson says. "Cinemark will be adding even more showtimes for the weekend in Plano," she says.

Sunday, September 22
Downton Abbey Tea at Historic Aldredge House is being billed as a "Downton Abbey tea fit for a queen."

It will begin with a presentation, "Entertaining Royalty at Highclere Castle," presented by Jann Mackey, Ph.D., to learn about famous people, aristocrats, and members of the British Royal Family who have visited Highclere Castle, the real Downton Abbey.

The talk will be followed by an elegant, seated, three-course tea, using recipes from Highclere Castle; and a tour of the Historic Aldredge House. Located at 5500 Swiss Ave., the Aldredge House was built in 1917 and serves as a premier example of Dallas' "gilded age."

Doors open at 1:30 pm. The lecture begins at 1:45 pm, and the tea begins at 2:30 pm.

Tickets are $100 and include the lecture, tea, house tour, valet parking, tips, and gratuities.

Saturday, September 28
Downton Abbey Returns: Tea Time in the Library takes place at the Grapevine Public Library. Historian Rollin Phipps will present a special lecture on the Downton Abbey series and Sheela Kadam, founder of the British Emporium, will give a short presentation on British tea.

All this will be featured in celebration of the new film. No reservation or sign-up is required for this event.

Downton Abbey Jazz Night is a big night out hosted by The Dallas Woman's Forum, a celebration of jazz music and fashion of the 1920s in Downton Abbey style.

There'll be cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, live music by Matt Tolentino and The Matt Tolentino Band, professional portrait photography by Glenn Ladewig Photography, antique automobiles on display for photos ops, a comic magician who will perform from 9-10 pm, and a dance instructor to lead guests in dance steps.

Dress is 1920s-style cocktail or black tie. The hosts promise that guests will feel as though they are being transported through time as they enjoy music and dancing at the elegant and historic Alexander Mansion, at 4607 Ross Ave. It runs from 8-11 pm. Tickets are $65.