Tyler Perry christens new film studio in Atlanta with a little help from Oprah, other friends

ATLANTA (KABC) -- Tyler Perry officially christened his massive new film studio Saturday, beaming as his fellow entertainment industry luminaries descended on Atlanta and strode a red carpet to his sprawling complex for an opening gala.

The attendees warmly greeted Perry, a man who had once been homeless and yet now made history as the first African American to own a major movie studio.

"I think it's pivotal in everything that we've done, everything that we're doing still, that we continue to try to motivate and inspire people," Perry said as he shook hands with well-wishers.

Among those on hand to congratulate him were Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Cicely Tyson, Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry. The 330-acre facility once served as a Confederate army base.

Tyler Perry Studios boasts 12 soundstages, each named after seminal black actors and actresses.

"He didn't wait for other people to validate or to say you should go this way or that way. He said I'm going to create my own way and as we can see here, become a force for himself," Winfrey said.

"I remember when he was thinking about buying this place and I said 'You'd be crazy not to take it,'" she added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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