Influential Hollywood producer, director, comedian, writer, and actor Tyler Perry opened his new sprawling 330-acre headquarters in Atlanta over the weekend, closing the festivities with a star-studded worship service.
The one-man entertainment mogul unveiled 12 sound stages, each of which is named after a prominent black icon. Additionally, the studio was built in Fort McPherson on land that served as a Confederate Army base during the American Civil War, according to a CNN report.
Perry’s impressive event was attended by major names in Hollywood entertainment, such as Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Cecily Tyson, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Halle Berry, and Gladys Knight, among others.
“@tylerperry you built the biggest studio in America, one that can fit all the other Hollywood studios combined and still have room to spare. You’ve also created a dream of hope and possibility for everyone to know that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can always do better when you’re aligned with the Divine. Thank you for the name of the sound stages. I love mine,” Oprah posted to Instagram.
The weekend was capped with a powerful worship service Sunday.
“Couldn’t close the weekend without Jesus meeting us on the lawn at the studio!!” Perry wrote on Instagram. “Having a full heart and a thankful soul to all that have prayed me all the way here.” Tyler wrote on his Instagram page.
Closing out the weekend was a worship service where Texas megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes delivered a message.
“I can’t explain how many icons were there to see history turn a page!” Jakes said on Instagram. “It felt like all the ancestors were rejoicing at what God has done. I didn’t see anyone that didn’t have gratitude on their face!” wrote Bishop TD Jakes.
Tyler purchased a portion of Fort McPherson back in 2015. The brand-new Tyler Perry Studios is now one of the largest in the entire country. He told the Atlanta Journal Constitution he plans to fill out the massive complex even more, adding restaurants and retail shops as times goes on, hoping to turn the sprawling space into a destination for tourists and locals.
Perry has big plans for the complex. In addition to the sound stages, the director hopes to also add retail shops and restaurants to make the headquarters a tourist destination. He also intends to use a portion of the land to create a crisis center for survivors of human trafficking. Perry estimates the projects will take 36 months to complete.
Earlier this year, Perry thanked God for his success that has helped other black actors in a speech at the BET Awards.
“When I built my studio, I built it in a neighborhood that is one of the poorest black neighborhoods in Atlanta so that young black kids could see that a black man did that, and they can do it too,” he said.