HT Local News

Owners of Tyler Perry’s previous studio file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

By Rodney Ho, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

Ozzie and Will Areu purchased the 57-acre site in late 2018

Areu Studios, which purchased Tyler Perry’s previous film studio in late 2018, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week.

The filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta does not state why this happened but all local movie and film studios were shut down for several months after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March.

Areu Studios, which is located in the Greenbriar neighborhood of Atlanta, is currently open again and cable network Starz’s new wrestling drama “Heels” starring Stephen Amell is shooting there.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing allows Areu Studios to continue to operate while it reorganizes its debts.

Ozzie Areu, former president for Tyler Perry Studios, and his brother Will Areu, purchased the space from Perry for $18.5 million.

The filing does not provide specific assets and debts but the filer has to identify a range. Areu Studios claims assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.

Twenty creditors are listed in the filing, including rental equipment firm Cinelease ($387,770), investor Mary Propes ($350,000), investor Miriam Miras ($290,000) and investor Spot on Content ($187,500).

Ozzie Areu, in an interview last year with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said he wanted to funnel investment money into producing TV shows and films on top of providing rental space to production companies. Last year, his company purchased THEA, a local video streaming platform from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and Endavo, a video distribution software company.

The Areu Studios lot has five sound stages, a suburban back lot and four administration buildings. Areu had previously said he had plans to add a recording studio, a technology center and more sound stages.

Areu did not return a text Monday seeking comment.

He had said they are one of the few Latino-owned and -operated film and TV studios in the United States.

Perry purchased the property and opened the 57-acre studio in 2008. He quickly outgrew the space and ended up opening a far larger studio on 330 acres that used to be part of Fort McPherson, an Army base.