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Tyler Perry’s Studio Opening Gala Was A Historic Moment For Black Hollywood

Here’s everything we know — and everyone we saw — at the breathtaking event.

The opening of a movie studio might not seem like a big deal, but when Tyler Perry does it, it is a historic event. The entertainment mogul opened the doors to his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on October 5, and it seems like every bold-faced name in Black Hollywood flew down South for the celebration. And there was a lot to celebrate: Perry’s studio is not only a tribute to Black excellence, its location bears special meaning: it’s sprawled over 330 acres of what was once a Confederate army base.

“The studio was once a Confederate Army base,” he said. “And, I want you to hear this, which meant that there was Confederate soldiers on that base, plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million negroes enslaved. Now that land is owned by one negro.”

“While everybody was fighting for a seat at the table talking about #OscarsSoWhite, #OscarsSoWhite, I said, ‘Y’all go ahead and do that,’” he said. “But while you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own. Because what I know for sure is that if I could just build this table, God will prepare it for me in the presence of my enemies.”

RELATED: Tyler Perry Dedicates His Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame To 'The Underdogs'

The landmark space features 12 soundstages named after Black Hollywood icons, including the late Diahann Carroll, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Sydney Poitier, Della Reese, Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg and Will Smith

A testament to Perry’s influence and good will in Hollywood, the gala opening drew huge celebrity names like Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, and even Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Bey even posted a rare caption to Instagram alongside her pics, saying she “could not stop crying” over the significance of the event. “I could feel our ancestors’ presence,” she wrote. “Generations of blood, sweat and tears, success, excellence and brilliance. It makes me so proud, so full, I could not stop crying. Thank you my Virgo brother for so much love and passion put into every detail. My prayer today is that you will take it all in. You inspire me to dream even bigger.”

Guests entered the studio by walking on a purple carpet, which was just one of the beautifully resonant touches. Everybody who’s anybody was at the event. If your invitation got lost in the mail, Ava Duvernay’s Instagram stories are a good place to get a look at the breathtaking facility:

  • Perry even had an incredible replica of The White House built on the lot:

  • Twitter was downright emotional over the opening, with many aspiring filmmakers and fans recognizing Perry’s awe-inspiring achievement on behalf of those who were shut out of Hollywood for far too long:

  • See photos of those who attended below.

  • Samuel L. Jackson

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Spike Lee

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Oprah Winfrey

    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
  • Beyoncé and Jay-z

  • Viola Davis and Julius Tennon

    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
  • Whoopi Goldberg and daughter Alex Martin

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios

    (Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage)

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Colin Kaepernick and Nessa

    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
  • Patti LaBelle

    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
  • Halle Berry

    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
  • Taraji P. Henson and fiancé Kelvin Hayden

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Ava DuVernay

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Tyrese

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Tiffany Haddish

    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
    Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images
  • Jeannie Mai and Jeezy

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Chris Tucker

    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
    Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios
  • Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad

  • Will And Jada Pinkett Smith

  • Cicely Tyson

    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
  • Gladys Knight

    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
  • Michael Ealy

    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
  • Tika Sumpter

    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
  • Jill Scott

    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
  • Tamera Mowry Housley and Adam Housley

    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
  • Kyla Pratt

    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
  • Gabourey Sidibe

    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
  • Tina Knowles Lawson and Richard Lawson

    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
  • Gayle King

    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
    (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios)
  • Loretta Devine

    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)

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