The critically acclaimed British-American period drama “Downton Abbey,” which depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and its servants, is something of a cult phenomenon. It’s become the most-watched series on PBS while earning the largest number of award nominations ever for an international television series. Before the new season begins Jan. 6, you can catch a free screening of the Season 3 premiere during a “Downton Abbey” party at the Byrd Theatre. Along with entertainment, there’s the chance to meet fellow fans (Richmond’s a top-five market nationally per capita). Hats, gloves and period dress are encouraged. The “Downton Abbey” preview takes place at the Byrd on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 7:15 p.m. Free but seating is limited. ideastations.org/downton.