Take a tour of Assembly Atlanta with Gray TV CEO Hilton Howell

Take a tour of Assembly Atlanta with Gray TV CEO Hilton Howell
Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 2:40 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Assembly Atlanta has always been about more than just TV or movie production. It’s also part of a dream to showcase metro Atlanta and the state while providing jobs and opportunities — especially for Georgians.

Atlanta News First anchor Tracye Hutchins got an inside look at how that vision is becoming clearer with Gray Television CEO Hilton Howell. Gray Television is Atlanta News First’s parent company.

The last time Hutchins toured Assembly Atlanta with Howell was in August 2022. Now, it’s clear Assembly Studios, a component of Assembly Atlanta, is nearly complete.

Howell is like a kid in a candy store.

“The balconies just give you a view of things. It’s amazing, and this is New Orleans. I love it,” he said.

There are 19 soundstages across eight studio buildings. On the outside, moviemakers can use the facades to transport you to the French Quarter in New Orleans, Tribeca in New York or across the pond to Europe. Inside the sound stages, there are offices, wardrobe rooms, a massive makeup room and dressing rooms.

Get ready with me 😎🤩 Wardrobe, hair and makeup and green rooms are located just steps away from the soundstages.

Posted by Assembly Atlanta on Thursday, August 10, 2023

RELATED: Assembly Studios unveils 19 different state-of-the-art sound stages for filmmakers

“There’s going to be a TV in every room, trust me. There are dressing rooms all the way along this front side,” Howell said.

All of it just steps away from the sound stage. Beyond the backlot is a crown jewel, atop one of two reflective buildings — a three-story circular staircase ascends to the sixth floor. Behind it is translucent onyx that will be backlit — something Howell said can be seen from I-285 at night.

On the sixth floor is what’s become known as the “jewel box,” an indoor-outdoor space for film and television rap parties or private events, overlooking all of Assembly Atlanta.

“I’m excited because we’re honoring the past,” Howell said, referring to the property’s past as a General Motors plant called Doraville Assembly. “We’re creating a new and exciting future, and it’s going to create even more jobs than General Motors stood. I’m very excited about the livelihoods and what this is going to be able to do.”

Howell said he thinks he’s been quoted as saying Assembly Atlanta will generate a billion dollars.

“I hope more than that, but we’ll see,” Howell said. “I think it’s going to be great for everybody.”