“I believe everyone who takes the time to visit and tour the White House should have as much access to its rich history and wonderful traditions as possible,” said first lady Melania in announcing the new addition.
For the first time, public tours of the White House East Wing will now include a peek inside the plush private theater where countless presidents have watched movies.
The edict was handed down by first lady Melania Trump, who posted the news Friday on the official FLOTUS Instagram account in tandem with a release issued by the White House detailing the history of the screening room.
“The White House belongs to the people of this country,” she said. “I believe everyone who takes the time to visit and tour the White House should have as much access to its rich history and wonderful traditions as possible. It is my hope that our visitors truly enjoy the newest piece of the tour.”
At the same time, the first lady said nothing about allowing the public to actually watch a film in the screening room.
In 1942, at the direction of then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt, the East Terrace cloakroom was converted into a movie theater. Four decades later, President Ronald Reagan — a former Hollywood actor — ordered a major remodeling that resulted in a total of 51 seats and tiered rows. There was a more recent refurbishment in the mid-2000s.
Those participating in Friday’s public tour were the first to see the inside of the theater, with the White House Visitors Office passing out candy to younger visitors.