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BLP Film Studios approved to build in Whitehaven

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:23 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A plan to bring what would be a historic movie studio to Memphis got the green light Thursday.

The Land Use Control Board approved development for what could turn Memphis into a mini-major entertainment hub. Up to 1,000 jobs would come along with it.

BLP Film Studios isn’t going to Hollywood, it’s coming to Whitehaven.

A vacant 85 acres off Elvis Presley Boulevard near Holmes could soon turn into one of the largest black-owned film studios in the country, with sound stages, recording studios, and even a hotel.

“We’ve had a number of opportunities to move the project outside of Memphis, but we felt this would be the kind of project that would help elevate the Memphis community,” said Jason Farmer with BLP Film Studios.

Farmer, CEO of the project, was born in Memphis and graduated from Whitehaven High School. He says the film studio could be a game changer for his old stomping grounds.

|”When a film production comes into town, about 60 percent of that money is spent on a local economy. So, if a $5 million project comes here, $3 million will be spent locally for things like hotel, travel, tourism, and catering,” he said.

There have been major films and TV series filmed in the Bluff City, but not on a regular basis.

“A part of the reason we have not been able to have sustainable projects is we didn’t have the facilities or the infrastructure to support the day to day needs of a studio campus.”

Farmer says he has 60 to 80 projects that could come to Memphis to shoot as soon as the campus is up and running. It’s a lofty goal, but Farmer says his inspiration is the city he loves and his young son, an aspiring filmmaker.

“He was able to make this dream come true not only for me, but many young people and many creators in Memphis and worldwide,” said Jason Farmer, Jr.

The next and final hearing for this project will be approval by the full city council. Plans are then to start construction in the fall, opening its doors in 24 to 36 months.

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