ATLANTA — The grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios sent shock waves throughout social media over the weekend and Hollywood's top talent came to celebrate this monumental event.
Tyler Perry made history as the first African American man to own a major movie studio. The 330-acre lot used to be a U.S. Army base known as Fort McPherson.
11Alive flew over the 330-acre lot and found the facility has made quite a transformation in the past year. There are several staged house sets with major backdrops, including a set that mocks the exterior of the White House.
The other significant difference is most of the sound stages now have names on the outside of the buildings. Perry dedicated the 12 sound stages to people who have paved the way for him throughout his life.
Stars like Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Sir Sidney Poitier, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, and the late John Singleton, Diahann Carroll, and Della Reese were paid tribute by the “Madea” star.
Many stars, including Beyonce, said it was an emotional night for Black Hollywood.
"I could feel our ancestors' presence," Beyonce wrote in an emotional Instagram post. "Generations of blood, sweat and tears, success, excellence and brilliance. It makes me so proud, so full, I could not stop crying."
The star-studded event included some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Diddy, Ava DuVernay, Samuel L. Jackson, Viola Davis, John Lewis, Bernice King, Stacey Abrams, and Maxine Waters. Atlanta's very own Usher, Ludacris, Jeezy, 2Chainz and T.I. also graced the red carpet.
PHOTOS: Tyler Perry Studios grand opening red carpet
Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, and Morgan James took to the stage with surprise performances at the event.
The A-Scene spoke to some of the hottest stars in Hollywood.
Winfrey praised Perry for being someone "who did it his way." Berry said what Perry has done for black people is "major."
Perry said his dream didn't come overnight. He worked hard and prayed even harder before he began seeing the fruits of his labor.
Tyler Perry Studios is located between downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The exit, now bearing the production company's name, is on Georgia State Route 166, a mile past the Sylvan Road and Cleveland Avenue exit.
“Atlanta has truly been the promised land for me," Perry shared in a Facebook post. "I came here with nothing, lived off Sylvan Road, ended up homeless and starving, but I was always praying and believing."
Photos: See Tyler Perry Studios from above
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