Some of the biggest names in black Hollywood were on hand in Atlanta to help entertainment mogul Tyler Perry celebrate the grand opening of the 330-acre Tyler Perry Studios this weekend.
Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Beyonce and Jay-Z and more were at the grand opening festivities in Atlanta on Sunday night.
“Congratulations to Tyler Perry on the opening of his studios. I could feel our ancestors’ presence. Surrounded by my heroes, I watched Denzel, Queen Oprah, Spike, Whoopi, Sir Poitier, Will, Halle , Dame Cicely and our angels John Singleton and Diahann Carroll honored,” Beyonce said via Instagram. “Generations of blood, sweat and tears, success, excellence and brilliance. It makes me so proud, so full, I could not stop crying. Thank you my Virgo brother for so much love and passion put into every detail. My prayer today is that you will take it all in. You inspire me to dream even bigger.”
All guests were then given a tour of studio and each of the 12 soundstages, all named after black film icons: Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Diahann Carroll.
With the opening of Tyler Perry Studios, he becomes first African American actor/director/writer/producer to own a studio outright with no partners or corporate backing.
The 50-year-old filmmaker told Essence magazine he was determined to build a legacy while laying the groundwork for future generations with his new movie studio.
"It feels like encouragement, it feels like gratitude," he said at the studio's launch. "More than anything, what I'm hoping it becomes is for everybody else who is ever dreaming and hoping—they can do it too. So that's what I want it to become, fully."