In 2019, Tyler Perry threw a star-studded party to commemorate the opening of his $250 million film studio in Atlanta. The event showcased the best of black Hollywood guests, including Perry’s mentor and friend Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Cecily Tyson, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The facility was built on land that used to be a Confederate army base where whites fought to keep blacks enslaved in Atlanta. Perry acquired the 330-acre land at Fort McPherson for the studio in 2015. It has 12 fully furnished sound stages for movie productions. Other structures include a replica of the White House, a diner, a mobile home park and a prison yard.
The business mogul is now seeking to expand his portfolio in the entertainment industry. In the final week of 2022, he acquired an additional 37 acres of land at the cost of $8.4 million to expand his film studio.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, he is likely to use the land to add an entertainment, retail and restaurant district to the production campus. In 2020, he told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that he wants to build a 3,000-seat theater similar to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.
Per the deeds, the Tyler Perry Studio cannot put up structures like single-family homes, multi-family residences, child care facilities, nursing homes or assisted living facilities and any kind of educational facility.
Perry began his career as a playwright, actor and director but it hadn’t always been easy for him. At a point, he had to sleep in his car, and now he owns a multifaceted studio, a great feat worthy of admiration.
In his 2019 BET Awards acceptance speech, he said, “When I built my studio, [it was in the] poorest Black neighborhood in Atlanta so the kids can see that a Black man did that, and they can too.”
Knowing how hard it was and still is for black actors to book auditions and get roles, he added, “What it means is that I get an opportunity to pass it on to people. I get to share it. I get to inspire people and encourage them. That is what it’s all about.”
He also reiterated that it was a “God-given” opportunity to open his own studios, THWR reported. As part of moves to honor black people who have made notable strides in Hollywood, Perry named the sound studios after the following Legends of Black Hollywood; Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belefonte, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Will Smith. Others include Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Diahann Carroll.
Perry always gave upcoming black actors a shot in his movies and plays. Owning a studio now gives him the chance to open wider doors for many people. He told AP, “I think it’s pivotal in everything that we’ve done, everything that we’re doing still, that we continue to try to motivate and inspire people.”