Now Defunct, the Tyler Perry Studios Tour was Once a Black TV Lovers Oasis

A mock image of 2 Black people on a Tyler Perry Studios Tour

Love him or hate him, there’s no question that Tyler Perry has had an incredible impact on the film industry – and on his adopted hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. And the 330-acre Tyler Perry Studios compound is one of the strongholds of that impact, as well as a growing fixture of the burgeoning Atlanta film scene, as well as home to many of Perry’s exclusive BET shows. So wouldn’t you like a Tyler Perry Studios tour?

Rumor has it that these tours were once open to the public, but now, they are no longer available. Thus, for many of us, unless something changes, seeing the inside of the first, Black-owned studio lot of that size is just going to live and die as a dream in our minds.

However, that doesn’t have to preclude you from getting a mental image of just what a tour of Tyler Perry’s studios would be. Below are some of the top 5 sites on the lot that you would’ve seen if the tour was still going.

1. The White House

Atlanta visitors and residents may see something strange as they pass the old McPherson base – The White House! This perfect-scale replica of one of the most important buildings in the nation’s capital is the solution for any presidential film project. Perry’s White House is smaller than the real thing but has full-size replicas of many key areas, including the Oval Office.

2. A Residential Neighborhood

Another permanent set that you’d see on a Tyler Perry Studios tour is the neighborhood. What’s really special is that the houses all have functional interiors. Many house sets used on the screen are just facades, but shooting in functional, decorated houses gives scenes set in these homes a real sense of gravity.

3. A Real 1950s Diner

The set pieces at Tyler Perry Studios are all classic places to set your film or TV show’s action. With the exception of the White House, nothing is specific. The locations, like the jail, luxury hotel, and coffee shop, are instantly recognizable as experiences that resonate with the viewers. The same is true of the Classic Diner set, which feels very authentic and real – because it is! May Sally’s Diner is an actual functioning diner that Perry bought and moved from a town over 100 miles away.

4. 12 Soundstages

In addition to its many sets, you would see 12 huge soundstages if you took a Tyler Perry Studios tour. The 12 soundstages at Tyler Perry Studios are all named after key Black film industry titans and host productions like “Divorce Court,” “The Michael Blackson Show,” and “Family Feud.”

5. A Historic District

Not a lot of film studios are big enough to have their districts, so the 33-acre Historic District at Tyler Perry Studios is pretty special indeed! It features 40 protected historic buildings, many of which are used for office space and as exterior film locations.

Taking A Tyler Perry Studios Tour

As mentioned, right now, you can’t actually take a Tyler Perry Studios Tour. The production facility has only been around since 2015 and wasn’t fully completed until 2019 – and then we all know what happened with the pandemic. Public may reopen someday; however, partnerships with Atlanta organizations have allowed some large parties an opportunity to take a tour of the lot. You can also take encouragement knowing that Perry has stated on multiple occasions that he eventually wants the studios to be accessible for public tours.

Until then, get your Black media fix with BlackOakTV! BlackOakTv is here to bring you the best in Black entertainment. Now more than ever, we’re seeing a renaissance of Black creativity and auteurship, and we want to help you see it all. To keep up with the pulse of the Black entertainment world, be sure to follow our Black Content Review blog!

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