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Film studio ready for leasing, nearing completion in Covington
Rahim Charania, Three Ring Studios president,
Rahim Charania, Three Ring Studios principal, gave a speech during a "pouring of the pads" celebration for the facility in October 2019. - photo by File Photos | The Covington News

Three buildings are nearing completion and are ready for leasing at the newly rechristened Cinelease Studios-Three Ring in Covington when the industry begins bookings again for film productions. 

The studio, formerly known as Three Ring Studios, changed names after Los Angeles-based Cinelease announced a partnership with the new Covington facility off Alcovy Road near I-20 in early July.

David Bernd, vice president of economic development for the Newton County Economic Development Authority, said recently the deal could lead to major productions by a variety of production companies at the Covington studio because of Cinelease’s vast connections within the film industry.

“Cinelease is a major player,” Bernd said. “It could mean we will get very high-caliber streaming services here.”

Cinelease will be the leasing agent for the studio and can provide much of the equipment needed for productions, the company said on its website.

It partnered with Areu Brothers Studios in Atlanta in 2019 after it opened on the former site of Tyler Perry Studios in southwest Atlanta. 

The Areu brothers worked in longtime supporting roles with Perry before opening the first Latino-owned studio in Georgia.

Since 2016, Cinelease has worked with Eagle Rock Studios in Norcross, which boasts productions like Netflix’s “Ozark.”

Cinelease-Three Ring covers 160 acres and will have 130,000 square feet of sound stage space, the company stated. 

Additional support spaces will include 21,000 square feet of stage support space, 30,000 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of mill space round-the-clock secured access — along with 800 parking spaces. 

Construction of Three Ring Studios was announced in 2017 and is near the multi-use Covington Town Center project, which recently announced three new hotel projects.

Three Ring Principal Rahim Charania hosted a public celebration of the start of construction on the foundations for the 250,000-square-foot facility in October 2019. 

He credited local leaders like former Covington mayor Ronnie Johnston and Bernd with helping him convince investors to put $100 million into a project in a town 30 miles outside Atlanta. 

He predicted the project would bring $3 million annually to the property tax base.

In other developments involving industry in Newton County, the development authority’s Serra Hall told the four-county Joint Development Authority recently she expected an announcement soon about a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lidl distribution center off I-20 near the Rockdale County line.

Hall, who is the Newton authority’s senior project manager, said the German grocery company is working with Newton County on permits for the project.

The new, $100 million regional headquarters is set to include 925,000 square feet and create 270 full-time jobs over the next five years, according to a January announcement from the governor’s office.

Lidl employs 150 in stores in Snellville, Mableton, Marietta and Augusta. It operates 85 stores in nine eastern states.