Downtown Downton

East Tennessee PBS was one of several public television stations around the country that hosted advance screenings of the first episode of the next season of Downton Abbey. The Knoxville screening was on Sunday afternoon at Regal Cinemas Downtown West. I assume the location was chosen because it is the local art house theater, not because its name is similar to the word Downton.

Prior to the screening, East Tennessee PBS held a high tea at Historic Westwood. Those who purchased tickets to the fundraiser also received reserved seats at the movie theater for the free screening.

93.1 WNOX helped promote the two events. I drove two contest winners to the high tea in a Mini Cooper that had the British flag on its roof and side mirrors. Mini of Knoxville let me use the car in exchange for on-air mentions.

It was my first visit to Historic Westwood. The 19th-century mansion on Kingston Pike recently became home to the offices of Knox Heritage. Their offices are upstairs. The downstairs can be rented for weddings or other events. To accommodate such gatherings, a modern kitchen and bathrooms were added to the back of the house.

 There were pimento cheese and cream cheese finger sandwiches at the high tea but the main attraction was the desserts. I loved the macarons and the mini tarts. The lemon cookies and other treats were delicious too.

The Incredible Christmas Place set up a table in the lobby of the movie theater where they sold Downton Abbey Christmas ornaments. They also gave away an expensive decoration as a door prize.

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Amy Hubbard and I made announcements leading up to the 5:00 p.m. screening. East Tennessee PBS president Vickie Lawson made some remarks to welcome the crowd when it was time to begin.

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