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My Favorite Room: Maria Menounos breaks out the Skittles, Milk Duds and Snuggies in her cozy screening room

Screen queen
“It’s like a movie theater with 15 reclining black leather seats on different levels and two beds at the top for napping,” says the actress, journalist and TV host.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Maria Menounos and her fiancé, Keven Undergaro, have been known to hide out in their screening room all weekend.

She said she and Undergaro are “big movie buffs” who binge on shows such as “Bloodline” and “Game of Thrones” in their nearly 6,000-square-foot, 12-room Encino home.

“I’ve been to a lot of screening rooms,” she said. “We did ours right.”

Menounos, 38, is an actress, professional wrestler and host of E! News and her own SiriusXM show. Her screening room took roughly two months to complete.


Movie palace
"It's just different than anything I've seen. It's so detailed & traditional with a modern vibe," she says.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

When you bought the house in 2004, was the screening room already there?

No — there was this locked part of the garage. We didn’t understand what it was, and the Realtor didn’t have a key to it. Once the house was officially ours, we broke in and discovered a classroom with desks and little chairs. The previous owners must have home-schooled their kids there. It was pretty wild.

So you swapped homeroom for a screening room?


It’s our spot. It’s like a movie theater with 15 reclining black leather seats on different levels and two beds at the top for napping. It becomes like a guestroom when we have big parties. There’s a bathroom, a shower, the whole thing.

We wanted it to be really cozy and comfortable so we could really chill. I don’t think we ever do date night unless we’re meeting another couple — we don’t move from there. It’s our recharge. We even have a closet full of blankets and Snuggies, because I love me a good Snuggie.

In terms of aesthetics, are we talking chain AMC or the Orpheum?

It’s just different than anything I’ve seen. It’s so detailed — traditional with a modern vibe. There are hardwood floors on the stairs, beautiful lighting and maroon velvet on the walls. The first floor is all tile. The molding work in there is gorgeous, and there’s a huge vaulted ceiling. The screen’s enormous, though Keven thinks it’s still not big enough.

The stuff that dreams are made of
Besides a candy and popcorn station, there are blankets and Snuggies.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

What’s the snacks situation?

There’s a buffet counter under the screen for food storage. And we have a popcorn machine and a candy counter. I’m trying to be good — we haven’t stocked it too much. But we love Milk Duds, Skittles, Starbursts, sour everything, Snickers, Twixes.

Who gets to pick the entertainment?


If we’re having guests over, we all pre-agree on what we’re going to watch. Like, if we want to see “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” we’ll send out a few invites to whoever wants in on that. But when it’s just Keven and me, he’s generally in charge. I would never pick half the things he does, but he never disappoints.

What was the best screening you’ve had there?

We screened Lindsay Lohan’s Elizabeth Taylor movie for fun for the E! News crew and my whole talent squad. We knew it was probably not going to be that great, but we knew we were going to have a great time watching.


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