Beyonce surprises guests at Tyler Perry gala celebrating new $250M movie studio
It was a Saturday night soiree that included a surprise appearance by “Queen Bey” herself.
Celebrating the opening of Tyler Perry’s new movie studios in Atlanta, Beyoncé unexpectedly dropped by the event adorned in a Hollywood-inspired golden gown.
Other notable guests in attendance included Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and Samuel L. Jackson.
The 330-acre studio cost $250 million to build, and according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, “is the only major film studio in the nation owned by an African American.” Its twelve sound stages are named after notable black actors and actresses.
The property was once used as a training ground for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Originally founded in 1885, the paper explains the grounds were named after “the highest-ranking Union officer killed in the Civil war” – Maj. Gen. James McPherson.
The paper notes Perry’s rise to success – given only 20 years ago he was living out of his car after being kicked out of his apartment.
Winfrey told The Associated Press the sprawling facility is proof of Perry’s position as a maverick in the industry.
“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,” she said.
Jackson agreed, telling AP reporters on the red carpet, “This is more about Tyler the entrepreneur. The visionary. A guy who understands that ownership means that you can do what you want.”
Perry was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame a few days before opening his studio.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.