President Obama's Secret White House Screenings Revealed

Bets are good that the Obama family will be watching the Oscar telecast on Feb. 26 considering what avid movie fans they are.

Now that he’s gone from office, Hollywood insiders reveal the Obama White House constantly asked for access to new releases. Hollywood has a long tradition of providing films to the White House, where there’s a posh screening room.

“There was never a film they didn’t request to watch,” says an executive at one studio. President Obama’s office also routinely requested awards screeners (including La La Land and other current Oscar contenders).

Another source says an ask even came in to watch Monster Trucks several days before Barack and Michelle Obama and their daughters, Malia — currently interning at Harvey Weinstein’s film company — and Sasha, left the White House for good on Jan. 20.

Sources say one or more members of the Obama family watched movies in the screening room, in the private residence and even on Air Force One. And when vacationing in Kailua, Hawaii, the Obama family often went to a nearby Regal theater.

“Bill Clinton was famously interested as well in movies, but that was in the DVD era, so more often than not, he would ask for DVDs,” says an executive. “George W. not so much.”

So far, the Trump White House has been relatively quiet, although the new president hosted a screening for Finding Dory (on DVD) and asked for access to James Franco-Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him?.

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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