Tyler Perry Makes History as First Black Person to Own Major Film Studio

By STEPHANIE OFFICER
Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Trailblazer Tyler Perry is mowing down another path, becoming the first black person to own and head a major film studio.

Plus, the massive 330-acre Atlanta studio sits on an old Confederate army base. 

To put it in perspective, Warner Bros. studios and Walt Disney Studios, both located in Burbank, California, sit on 145 acres and 51 acres, respectively.

In an interview with Essence, he spoke on the importance of knocking down doors and building legacies.

“You know what? It feels like encouragement, it feels like gratitude. But more than anything, I hope it becomes, for everybody else who is ever dreaming and hoping, they can do it too,” Perry told the magazine. 

The 50-year-old mogul celebrated the milestone Saturday night at the gala opening of the lot. Oprah, Beyonce, Halle Berry and Cecily Tyson were just some of the luminaries in attendance.

According to WSB, Perry built 12 sound stages, each named after black pioneers in the arts. The stages are all available for other Hollywood studios to rent. AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Marvel’s monster hit “Black Panther” have already been filmed there. The property even includes a replica of The White House.

While Perry is breaking barriers, he follows in the footsteps of those before him who laid the groundwork. In 1918, Oscar Micheaux was hailed as the first major black filmmaker with his Lincoln Motion Picture Company. 

In 1997, director and actor Tim Reid, along with wife Daphne Maxwell-Reid, founded New Millennium Studios in Petersburg, Virginia, and ran it until its sale in 2015.

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Copyright (c) 2018 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.