Cinelease continues explosive growth in Georgia – Acquires New 200,000 suare foot property, and finalizes plans for $144 million studio expansion at Cinelease Studios – Three Ring

Jan 31, 2022Industry Update, Press Release

ATLANTA, GA, January 31, 2022 – In just over a decade, Cinelease has grown from a single Georgia-based employee to a prominent employer in Georgia’s film industry serving statewide productions out of three locations in Clayton, Gwinnett, and Newton Counties – creating even more full-time job opportunities and committing to long term investments.

“Cinelease has been a pioneer in Georgia’s entertainment industry. Our senior leadership had the foresight to see the potential in the state and we are proud to have acted as a magnet for the regional expansion of our industry,” said Gannon Murphy, General Manager of Cinelease Studios. “We can confidently say that investing in an expansion of this magnitude reinforces Cinelease’s commitment to making an impactful contribution to the workforce, tax base, and client experience in Georgia.”

Cinelease opened its Atlanta doors in 2007 with a vision and 8,000 square feet of warehouse space in East Point and now has nearly 60 full-time lighting and grip staff in three locations operating out of roughly 200,000 collective square feet in three counties. Its continued growth creates demand for skilled positions, resulting in dozens of new jobs annually, such as the three full-time staff recently hired to focus on equipment maintenance and repairs, pouring economic opportunities back into the community.

“I began serving the Georgia film industry by unloading gear on location, for productions like international phenomenon, The Vampire Diaries, and sometimes loading trucks in parking lots,” said Steve Spalding, Cinelease’s East Coast Director of Marketing.

In 2011, as Georgia’s entertainment industry was just emerging and attractive tax incentives repositioned the state, cities like Covington were poised to become dubbed the Hollywood of the South. Cinelease was quick to respond to the call to action, utilizing its 45 years of industry experience to provide existing services to clients and later diversify into the Atlanta-based studio management division.

Cinelease took transformative steps in 2020, opening Cinelease Studios – Three Ring, a purpose-built film and television campus with six sound stages, three mill spaces, 12 office bungalows, and an expansive wooded and developed backlot. The studio has been leased at 100% capacity since completion and clients have included Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, and Skydance Media. With demand for content at an industry-wide high, Cinelease has outgrown its most recent 50,000 square foot warehouse and the sound stages are fully booked through 2022, necessitating the expansion on an additional 50-plus acres on the 160-acre campus.

The expansion will add eight new stages, enhancing the campus by providing a total of 14 purpose-built sound stages. Upon completion, the stages will total 276,000 square feet of stage space alone, 100,000 square feet of office space, and two new mill spaces will offer 72,800 more square feet of flexible space for construction mill and storage. The designs will also accommodate more office amenities, eight acres of outdoor filmmaking space, and pavement to double the parking currently available.

Currently, the entertainment industry drives nearly $4 billion into the local economy, thanks to the robust opportunities the state offers film and television. Support and responsible management by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Commissioner Pat Wilson, and Director Lee Thomas have been instrumental to industry growth by creating a landscape where industry leaders like Cinelease want to call home. For over five years, Georgia has been Cinelease‘s second biggest market in the U.S. for equipment rentals, and the upcoming expansion of Cinelease Studios – Three Ring will allow the company to continue to bring double digit growth to the local and state economy.

“We’ve been serving hundreds of productions filming all over the state and it’s unbelievable to see the continued growth and success from my first day in 2007 to now,” said Spalding. 

As a result of this meteoric growth, today Cinelease employs nearly 60 Georgians, providing full time opportunities in the entertainment industry through its studio management and lighting and grip services. 

The impact of Cinelease’s physical presence in Georgia has created a ripple effect of organic growth, both for the company and the local economy. “Production crews range from a handful to several hundred, but regardless of size, the local spend fuels Georgia’s economy,” says Jessa Grazioplene Director of Studio Client Relations. “From creating more jobs to renewing long term leases on land, our vertical growth expansion of our 572,000 square foot purpose-built studio reinforces our positive impact and ongoing commitment to calling Georgia our home.”

Cinelease Studios’ stages have already housed two major episodic television shows that employed over 1,000 crew members combined. With the expansion plans underway creating an increase in overall production capacity at Cinelease Studios – Three Ring, and by committing to the newest lighting and grip operation in Atlanta, the combined impact of Cinelease’s activities will generate thousands of new Georgia-based entertainment jobs.

Cinelease’s second largest operation is currently serving clients in Atlanta and the Cinelease Studios – Three Ring expansion is projected to finish in late 2023. To celebrate the expansion, a ceremonial golden shovel event will take place in the coming weeks.