Clayton BOC approves film studio

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners reviews an item during Tuesday’s meeting. At that meeting, they approved the use of land for the new Clayton County Studios, which will be backed by Pacifica Ventures of Hollywood, Calif. The group operates studios in Albuquerque, N.M. and near Philadelphia. (Staff Photo: Joe Adgie)

JONESBORO — A film studio is coming to north Clayton county after years of planning.

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the studio at Tuesday’s meeting, and construction is expected to start in the summer. Building permits will be secured from both Morrow and Lake City, according to a press release from Pacifica Ventures.

The film studio, named Clayton County Studios, will be backed by Pacifica, a Hollywood-based group which has opened studios in Albuquerque, N.M. and near Philadelphia. These studios have hosted high-profile productions such as “Breaking Bad,” “The Avengers,” “Better Call Saul” and “After Earth,” among others.

The construction will involve large sound stages built in pairs similar to the Albuquerque studios, as well as a dedicated green screen stage, production offices, a post-production space, construction space and a commissary.

The mayors of both cities were present at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday and were excited about the move.

“We recognize and appreciate the incredible impact that the film industry has already had on our state, and what it means to the future of Clayton County,” said Morrow Mayor Jeff DeTar in a press release. “We look forward to welcoming Clayton County Studios into our community, and we especially appreciate the confidence this demonstrates in our south side economic development.”

The studios will be located on approximately 20 acres of land owned by the county and include a 60,000 square foot retail building that will be renovated to workshop and office space.

Jeff Turner, chairman of the BOC, said he was “pleased” to see Pacifica’s commitment to the county.

“The BOC is delighted to welcome Clayton County Studios and looks forward to the significant and positive effect this project will have on the local community,” Turner said in a press release.

Turner said the project will help create jobs for Clayton residents.

“This studio project is a long time in the making,” Turner said. “I appreciate the board moving this forward. (Commissioner) Sonna Gregory dealt with this a long time.”

Executives from Pacifica flew in from California to witness the meeting, as well as city officials from both Morrow and Lake City and the Georgia Deputy Film Commissioner, Lee Thomas.

The studio joins a group of studios that have opened up south of Atlanta. Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County opened in 2016, while Screen Gems opened a studio on the site of the Lakewood Fairgrounds in 2015.

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