In November 2021, construction began on a $60 million, 45-acre sound-stage development project in Athens, Ga., to attract film and television production to the college town.
In September 2022, not even one year into the project, Athena Studios announced that it had purchased an additional 65 acres of land adjacent to the original site currently under construction at 900 Athena Dr. The move was made in anticipation of demand for its initial 200,000-sq.-ft., purpose-built production space.
The expansion will add 350,000 sq. ft. to the already massive facility, which is scheduled to open its first phase on Mar. 1, 2023, with the ability to host productions of any size. The increased acreage will allow for the construction of backlot space and make Athena one of the largest production studios in Georgia.
More than 300 workers have been involved with the construction of the studio over the last 10 months, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.
Athena Studios CEO Joel Harber told the Athens news source that the University of Georgia (UGA) and Georgia Film Academy (GFA) building, which is currently being built to house the studio’s business office entrance, is slated to open later this year.
Designed to create a local industry workforce through its partnership with UGA and GFA, the building will include a 14,000-sq.-ft. learning center with its own sound stage. Film and TV production students will be moving from their current 2,000-sq.-ft. space on campus into the much larger facility when it is finished.
Just past the UGA/GFA structure, according to Harber, the studio plans to erect a secure gate within which will be sound stages, a mill, offices and a base camp. The stages will be equipped with “silent air” systems so that productions can record clear audio without having to turn off the air-conditioning system during filming, and industry standard Insul-Quilts will be used for soundproofing. See more.