Blackhall to become largest movie studio in Southeast with DeKalb expansion

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The largest movie studio in the Southeast will soon be in south DeKalb County, and an agreement made Thursday could also mean 2,400 new jobs for the area.

Blackhall Studios is where they shot Jumanji, the Jungle Cruise, Doctor Sleep and other movies. It’s already a big studio.

Now DeKalb County is ready to give the studio a big tax incentive in return for hundreds of millions in investment.

Decide DeKalb Development Authority announced Thursday that it would provide more than $65 million in tax and infrastructure credits in return for Blackhall’s parent company investing nearly $380 million to double the size of the studio in an area often described as underserved.

Decide DeKalb’s Doran DeBarr helped negotiate the deal.

“It’s extremely important for us to be able to put our flag in the sand and say hey, we’re the home for film and entertainment, and we’d like to continue to be that here in DeKalb County. And it means more opportunity for our citizens and those that live here,” DeBarr said.

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Alison Clark is the head of the Southwest DeKalb Neighborhood Alliance.

“Ultimately, we are happy with the plan,” Clark said.

She says Blackhall’s expansion could mean revitalization in an area that doesn’t even have a convenient grocery store.

“Oh, it’s huge. We have been an underserved area for so long, and to see that actually come to our area is a huge deal for us,” Clark said.

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson represents the area. He said Blackhall studios will make other businesses take notice of South DeKalb.

“But this puts this area of South DeKalb on the map because now, you’re known for making blockbuster movies. From Jungle Cruise to Jumanji, and now Google and Disney are located over here. This is a destination spot,” Johnson said.

Decide DeKalb and Blackhall point out this has nothing to do with the controversial land swap done a few years ago.

This expansion will take place on land Blackhall’s parent company has owned for a long time.

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