The 134-hectare (330-acre) studio has 12 soundstages, each named after seminal black actors and actresses, including Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Diahann Carroll, Will Smith, and Denzel Washington.

Tyler’s complex is larger than Paramount, Warner Bros and Walt Disney’s Burbank studios combined. The filmmaker becomes the first African American to own a studio outright - no corporation or partners are involved in the venture. He even mapped out the plans for the complex on his own: “If I hadn’t gone into entertainment, I would have been an architect.”

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The grand opening gala had 800 guests including A-list stars like Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Tiffany Haddish and Stacey Abrams. They all walked the red carpet lined with walls adorned in roses and also shared their admiration and support for Perry.