Tyler Perry (pictured above with date, actress Gelila Bekele) kicked off the grand opening of his 200,000 sq. foot/30 acre Tyler Perry Studios facility in southwest Atlanta Saturday night. The formal affair attracted thousands of who’s who as local celebs rubbed elbows with worldwide stars.
Hollywood legends Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett Jr. gathered with Oprah Winfrey, Hank and Billye Aaron, Andrew and Carolyn Young, Will Smith, Barry Bonds and others to celebrate the first major television and movie studio owned and run by an African-American film producer.
Oscar winner Sidney Poiter christened the studio’s opening as several members of the writer’s guild picketed outside.
Check out the flix:
Will Smith & Tyler Perry
Can’t hate…. Star looked mah-va-lous!
A tearful Oprah & Sidney Poiter
“I looked at the abandoned buildings and I thought, ‘There’s no way,’ ” Perry said on the film. “Then I saw what I thought was debris on the front gates. I looked closer and realized someone had taped Bible Scriptures on the gate. Then I knew. I jumped in full steam with no fear. Nothing but the grace of God has brought me to this place.”
A singer emerged from a stage on the water to perform “The Impossible Dream” as fireworks blazed overhead.
Tears streamed down the faces of the attendees as waiters quietly offered tissues in red velvet boxes. (Source)
Not a dry eye in the house…
Several protesters picketed outside of the opening. The Writers Guild of America West has filed an unfair-labor-practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against Tyler Perry’s production studio after the studio fired four writers for the TBS comedy “House of Payne” who were seeking union representation.
Nicole Ari Parker & Boris Kodjoe
Patti Labelle – L.A. Reid
Johnny Gil….where’s Eddie?
Husband & Wife duo David & Tamela Mann. Known for several Tyler Perry plays & movie appearances as Leroy and Cora Brown.
V-103’s Ryan Cameron & his wife Kysha
Gladys Knight & her husband, William McDowell