Like Trilith and Tyler Perry Studios before it, Doraville’s Assembly Atlanta has incorporated non-AI backlots alongside vast soundstages to create the illusion of backdrops from around the world beneath the Georgia sun.

Assembly Studios’ “lights, camera, action” phase officially kicked off last fall, following two years of planning and construction and owner Gray Television’s $400 million investment on what used to be Doraville’s General Motors plant. (Another facet: A 120-foot-tall LED tower near Interstate 285, lording over the center of the TV/film complex.)  

Assembly officials provided Urbanize Atlanta this week with glimpses of how it’s all come together, from intimate green rooms to full, faux city streets.

A backdrop designed to resemble New York City neighborhoods. Courtesy of Assembly Studios

Resembling a Los Angeles-style studio city, Assembly backlots have taken shape with distinctive facades designed to mimic brownstones in New York City, the streets of European capital cities, and even the French Quarter in New Orleans. The first phase, designed by Smith Dalia Architects and built by Gipson Company, includes more than 1 million square feet of film-production space—from warehouses to dining halls and bungalows for private production—across about 50 acres.

The AJC recently reported leasing at Assembly Studios isn’t meeting expectations ($1 billion in productions had been booked for 2024 alone), given turbulence in the industry related to workforce strikes. The complex houses 8 percent of all soundstage space available in the Peach State. Assembly reps say productions are active on site right now, and that NBCUniversal signed a long-term agreement to lease and operate Assembly facilities.

How a typical dressing room looks at Assembly Studios. Courtesy of Assembly Studios

The studios, with existing tenant Third Rail Studios included, occupy 50 acres of the full site, which covers 135 acres. Another phase-one section is a public-accessible greenspace called Assembly Commons, featuring a 2-acre central lawn and large retaining pond with water jets at the bottom that create fountain effects. Aspects of the project that have been delayed but are still eventually planned include housing, hotel rooms, eateries, and shops.

In the gallery above, find a thorough photo tour of Assembly’s beginnings—and where this first phase of a Southernfried La La Land stands today.  


Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook/and now: Instagram  

• Doraville news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)