LOS ANGELES — Coronavirus test appointments scheduled for Tuesday at Union Station were canceled after Miramax was granted a permit to film there, officials confirmed late Monday night.
As Los Angeles County broke records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new restrictions were imposed, a film permit was granted to Miramax for the filming of "He's All That," a remake of the 1999 film "She's All That" featuring Tik Tok-er Addison Rae and directed by Mark Waters. The filming will take place Tuesday inside and outside Union Station with a cast and crew of about 170 people, said Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for FilmLA, which processes film permit applications.
According to reporting from Deadline, Los Angeles residents who had coronavirus test appointments scheduled Tuesday received an email informing them of the shutdown. "We apologize for the inconvenience and delayed notification but LA Union Station Kiosk site has had to cancel all appointments for December 1st due to an event being held at this location," the email said.
But, until this afternoon, FilmLA and the mayor's office was unaware that the filming permit would lead to the closure of the testing site. Andrea Garcia, a spokesperson for the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, said the office is working to reopen the site's operations Tuesday.
A follow-up email from the mayor's office was sent at 7:46 p.m. Monday to those with scheduled appointments.
"As soon as this was brought to our attention, we contacted the 504 people scheduled for a test on December 1st at Union Station to let them know that their appointment would be honored at any of the other 14 city testing locations, including another mobile testing site located at the North Hollywood Metro Station accessible by the Metro transit system," Garcia said.
"We remain committed to providing free tests and are scheduled to test more than 38,000 people tomorrow," she continued.
Sokoloski said FilmLA did not know who made the decision to close the testing center to appointments Tuesday. "All we know at this hour is that this decision wasn't made by FilmLA or the City's film permit approver LAPD, nor was it sought by the production company seeking to film at Union Station."
The Union Station site tests 350 to 400 people daily, about 1.5% of the city's total capacity.
Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted early Tuesday: "My team has worked to reopen testing at Union Station on Tuesday. The 504 Angelenos who were scheduled for a test there can visit the kiosk as originally planned or any of the other 14 City sites, where we offer 38K tests daily."
A source close to the Miramax production said that after learning about the shutdown, Miramax requested that Curative, the company operating the testing site, resume its services. The source said the scheduled filming will not take place near the testing kiosks.
"The two uses of the facility may be compatible, based on the area to be used for filming and the production's interest in making it work," Sokoloski said.
It's unclear whether the testing kiosk will reopen on Tuesday. Curative and Union Station officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
As of 10 p.m. Monday, Sokoloski said, "we do not know, at this hour, what will happen tomorrow or what is possible."(c)2020 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC