Tyler Perry’s colossal Southwest Atlanta film studio has a little bit of everything needed to make movies of all genres.
It’s been about four years since Perry, a movie mogul and now prominent real estate developer, scooped up some 330 acres of former U.S. Army base Fort McPherson for a cool $30 million.
That’s roughly the size of Piedmont and Grant parks put together. (Critics of the purchase have claimed then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed helped Perry secure a sweetheart deal.)
On Saturday, Perry hosted a grand opening celebration of the studio, which has been operational in some capacity for a few years now, with a guest list of celebrities, local leaders, and other industry heavies. (Will Smith, Oprah, Denzel Washington, and Sidney Poitier were all expected to attend.)
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the property has come a long way, and Perry had a lot to show off.
Sure, Perry has developed a dozen mammoth sound stages that Hollywood producers can rent to make films. But Tyler Perry Studios offers far more than that.
There’s also a replica White House, which is being used in the production of BET show “The Oval.”
Need to shoot a scene about a medical emergency? How about a prison riot, a plane crash, or whatever hijinks folks get up to at trailer parks?
Yep, the studio has a hospital set, a mock jumbo jet, an airport terminal, a trailer park, and even a suburban subdivision.
Perry also mobilized a retro diner he bought in rural Georgia and wheeled it up to Fort Mac, per the AJC.
In the works elsewhere is a half-mile, six-lane highway Perry is building for car chases and drag races, as well as backlots that could be used for scenes based in urban Europe.
But not all of those 300-plus acres will be used for film production; Perry could also bring a facility to the site to help human trafficking victims within the next few years, he says.
Also on the docket is the development of a 3,000-seat theater that could be used for concerts and other large events.
Plus, Perry says he wants to bring some restaurants and retail options to the underdeveloped neighborhood, which could make for tourism destinations on weekends, according to the paper.
All the while, question marks still surround the fate of the 145 acres of Fort McPherson that Perry doesn’t own.
Project officials hope a newly restructured development team will put the potentially $760 million overhaul back on track.