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Home Entertainment

Inside the president's home theater

Moviemaking's in the news right now, and one theater that harks back to the "Golden Age of Cinema" resides inside the walls of the White House.

The White House/Flickr

When he's not flying around in a jumbo jet or singing with soul musicians, President Barack Obama can be found curled up on the couch enjoying a 3D movie with his family. And 40 of his closest minders.

He doesn't watch movies in the sound-bar-centric home theater we might be used to, but a plush, dedicated "family theater" inside the East Wing of the White House. The room has been used to show movies for the First Family since 1942, and also doubles as a rehearsal space for State of the Union addresses.

In the picture above, the president holds his glasses on during the 3D showing of the 2009 Super Bowl.

The White House family theater was built during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's term, when it was converted from a cloak room. Since then, it has undergone several remodelings, with the latest completed in 2004 by President George W. Bush.

Movies reportedly shown here have included "High Noon" (a favorite of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton); "All the President's Men" (Jimmy Carter having fun at his predecessor's expense); and "Austin Powers" (George W. Bush).

According to Home Theater, the room uses Snell speakers, but apart from a (supposedly) 3D projector all of the other equipment is a state secret.

Click through to see CE Pro's slideshow.