Local film fans were treated to a sneak preview of Downton Abbey: A New Era, a feature-length film based on Julian Fellowes‘ PBS Masterpiece series, at East Hampton Cinema on Tuesday, May 17.
Sponsored by the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) as part of the fest’s 30th anniversary celebration year, the event drew enthusiastic attendees, including fitness trainer Gabriel Portuondo who came in costume with a tuxedo and bowler hat. He was joined by Randall Hemming, manager of Devi Kroell in East Hampton.
Open in theaters nationwide on Friday, May 20, this latest installment of the popular PBS television show turned movie(s) reunites the cast — from five seasons and 2019’s Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture) and takes them to the South of France, where the Crawley family goes on a grand journey to uncover the mystery of the dowager countess’s newly inherited villa.
At Tuesday’s screening, Downton Abbey: A New Era had the approval of those in attendance as the packed audience applauded at the end. Among them, Brenda Simmons, who runs the African American Museum in Southampton, told Dan’s Papers, “I’m a big fan.” Simmons was joined by Debbie Woods of Hampton Jitney.
HIFF Executive Director Anne Chaisson, who was at the event with board members Carole Blankman and Dylan Bruno, pointed out in prescreening comments that festival will officially celebrate 30 years in October. “We have a lot special events planned all year long” she added.
Other notable names at the show were Hamptons celebrity caterer Janet O’Brien, Douglas Elliman realtor Patrick Mclaughlin, Sotheby’s agent Heather Buchanan, and Clearvision Optical’s Mimi Friedfeld.
Directed by Simon Curtis (Goodbye Christopher Robin, My Week with Marilyn), Downton Abbey: A New Era stars Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Tuppence Middleton, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) and the rest of your Downton Abbey favorites. Cheerio!
Downtown Abbey: A New Era is playing now at theaters across the East End, including Regal UA East Hampton Cinema, Sag Harbor Cinema, Mattituck 8, and Regal UA Hampton Bays.
Bill McCuddy is a frequent Dan’s contributor. He co-hosts two podcasts Sitting Around Talking Movies and The Accutron Show. He is also a cohost of Talking Pictures with Neil Rosen and Lisa Rosman on PBS/AllArts.