The 40-acre, $200 million complex in Douglas County (the site of some location filming for The Hunger Games) will be up and running in late 2023. About 16 miles from Atlanta center and 25 minutes from the Atlanta Airport, it will include 12 large sound stages, office and support space, a back lot and parking for 400 cars and 100 trucks. Owned and operated by Great Point Studios, Robert Halmi’s film and television infrastructure group, it will offer a full set of production services on site including grip and electric, equipment, props, set building, restaurants, location catering, cleaning service and security.
“Lionsgate Studios Atlanta becomes our third state-of-the-art production complex with proximity to a major metropolitan area, allowing us to continue to scale our film & television production operations, create hundreds of local jobs and invest in regional economic growth,” said Gary Goodman, the company’s EVP of Television Production. “In response to continued strong demand for our content, we’re pleased to partner with Great Point Studios and The State of Georgia to extend our studio facilities production footprint to metro Atlanta.”
Lionsgate Studios Yonkers, a sprawling complex on the Hudson River just outside NYC, opened in January of 2022. The one-million square foot project, also developed by Great Point, is adding sound stages and support space as it expands. The partners, along with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, most recently announced a $125 million+ project on 12 acres in Newark, the first purpose-built studio in New Jersey specifically constructed for TV and film production.
Halmi, founder of the Hallmark Channel and producer of over 400 film and TV projects, has been raising facilities to meet the needs of an evolving entertainment industry in relevant locations amid an ongoing crunch for studio space, which never remotely caught up with the streaming-fueled boom in production — regardless of any slower growth the industry may be seeing now.
“The state of Georgia has seen a record year in terms of film and television productions. With the rising demand for production facilities, a studio location in Atlanta was an ideal next step for our partnership with Lionsgate as we continue to bring best-in-class production facilities to the East Coast,” said Halmi.
Georgia’s tax incentives, first passed in 2005, have become the most generous in the country and continue to aggressively attract production to the state, making it a global hub.
“When the pandemic struck, we worked hard in Georgia to communicate with our partners in the Georgia film, TV, and streaming industries. Together, we forged a safe and appropriate path to allow the film industry to return to operations and deliver Georgia Made productions to eager consumers all around the world,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “Because of this partnership approach and the resiliency of our state’s film and television infrastructure, we are once again enjoying incredible growth and investment from industry leaders like Lionsgate and Great Point Studios. These projects will support hardworking Georgians and ensure that we are a top producer of television shows and feature films for years to come.”
Lee Thomas, Director of the Georgia Film Office noted, “From the early years of the film office, Georgia has had a great relationship with both Robert Halmi Jr. and Robert Halmi Sr. in their roles at Hallmark Entertainment and Robert Halmi Productions, and we are excited to begin this next chapter with Robert Halmi Jr. and Great Point Studios. We are thrilled that Great Point Studios has chosen Douglasville for this exciting project, and we look forward to partnering with Lionsgate on film and television projects for decades to come.”
The project is being developed by a joint venture of Great Point and its institutional partner, an affiliate of private investment firm Lindsay Goldberg. Great Point Studios, founded by Halmi and longtime media and entertainment investment banker Fehmi Zeko, has been expanding into new studio investment/management businesses in North America and the U.K.
The Atlanta studio initiative was shepherded for Lionsgate by its CFO James Barge.