Influential producer, comedian, writer, and actor Tyler Perry opened a sprawling 330-acre headquarters over the weekend, closing the festivities with a stunning worship service, according to Faithwire.
Perry revealed 12 sound stages in his new headquarters each named after a black icon. Perry purchased the land near Atlanta, which had once served as a Confederate Army base in the Civil War, in 2015.
The opening weekend featured stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Cecily Tyson, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Gladys Knight, Halle Berry, and more.
“@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.
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!”
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.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Paras Griffin/Stringer
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.