Hollywood stars, Atlanta elite hit red carpet for grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios

ATLANTA — Tyler Perry Studios celebrated its grand opening with a who's who of Hollywood mega-stars and Atlanta elite at a star-studded gala.

The 330-acre filming complex at the former home of Fort McPherson officially opened its doors Saturday as the only major film studio in the nation owned by an African-American.

Channel 2 Action News was on the red carpet, where Atlanta figures like Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Ludacris, Bernice King, John Lewis and Stacey Abrams mingled with major Hollywood stars including Halle Berry, Cecily Tyson, Whoopie Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee and Viola Davis -- just to name a few.

Channel 2 Action News spoke to Berry about what an all black-owned studio means to her.

"It means that we're here, and we ain't going nowhere," Berry said. "And you're going to remember us a hundred years from now ... and that we're important. We matter. We have a right to be. And I love Tyler for that."

Tyson was full of praise for the new studio complex.

"I would come straight down from Heaven to experience this moment," Tyson said. 'Believe me, I wouldn't miss it."


​​​​​The studios are a crowning achievement for Perry, a once-struggling playwright who, more than 20 years ago, had been kicked out of his apartment and was living out of his car. Now 50, he's seen a lifelong dream come to fruition.

Perry said he has built 12 massive sound stages for other Hollywood studios to rent. There's a replica of the White House for his upcoming presidential television series, "The Oval." There's also a set for a hospital, jail, an airliner or an airport terminal, trailer park and a suburban subdivision.

"It's beyond moving, inspiring, exciting. I can't even put it into words," Perry said of the reception Saturday night. "I'm blown away by it."