First Lady Melania Trump has made changes to the White House tour in what might be her first significant change as FLOTUS. In a press statement released by the White House, it was announced that Melania Trump had opened up the movie theater to the public. White House tours are self-guided meaning there is no official escort, but those who are given access to the tour may now view the theater where presidents and dignitaries have enjoyed watching films. The White House movie theater is part of the East Wing tour and Melania Trump is the one who decided that the public should have first-hand access to view it.
First refurbished as a theater in 1942 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the White House movie theater has seen numerous Presidents grace its walls. Under President Reagan, the White House theater underwent renovations that saw the addition of 51 plush covered seats, according to the press release. You may see a video below showing the White House movie theater as opened to the public by Melania Trump along with photos of presidents using the theater. The public isn’t allowed to enter the theater and watch movies, though many would enjoy that. Instead, they may look inside as long as they stand behind a roped barrier. Those who want to visit the White House and see the movie theater in person can contact the White House Visitors Office to schedule a self-guided tour.
The decision made by Melania marks the first time that the White House movie theater has been available for public viewing in history.
According to the site White House Museum, the first movie ever screened in the White House was The Birth of a Nation. The screening took place in 1915 under President Woodrow Wilson. The film praised the KKK and ultimately proved to be a disastrous choice for White House movie viewing. You can watch the full movie below. You can learn more about Jim Crow and President Wilson’s epic mistake in glorifying the KKK with a White House movie screening at PBS. Presidents who watched movies in the White House including the Family Theater include President Kennedy, President Johnson, President Nixon, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama.
First Lady Melania Trump released a statement about opening the White House movie theater to the public.
“The White House belongs to the people of this country. 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.”
What do you think about Melania’s decision to open the White House movie theater to the public? Would you like to see it in person? Feel free to leave your comments below.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Image]