Watching Hollywood’s latest releases from home is quickly becoming the new norm. However, the President has been screening films from the White House’s private theater for nearly 80 years.
Originally transformed from a coat closet in 1942, the White House Family Theater has acts as an intimate setting for the president to enjoy watching films with family and guests. Since its construction, the Family Theater has gone through design upgrades, hosted A-List Hollywood events, as well as been a room for the commander-in-chief to rehearse historic speeches.
While certain presidents utilize the theater more than others, for the movie buffs, Hollywood studios send advanced screenings of the year’s best films. Before leaving office, Bill Clinton stated:
“The best perk in the White House is not Air Force One or Camp David or anything else. It’s the wonderful movie theater I get here, because people send me these movies all the time.”
While analyzing past presidents’ usage of the theater doesn’t give insight into their policy making it does allow us to learn about them on a more personal level. Which president screened the most films during their stay at the White House? What was the last movie JFK watched before being assassinated? And what did Ronald Reagan tell Steven Spielberg after an advanced screening of “E.T.“? For a deep dive into the world’s most exclusive home theater, check out Metaflix’s latest YouTube video essay featured above.