2nd UPDATE, 12:18 AM: About nine hours after it was announced that the coronavirus testing site at Union Station would be shuttered on December 1 for a movie shoot, the Mayor of Los Angeles now has said that the venue will be open for business after all.
Following a night of no small drama and overlapping emails, Eric Garcetti just took to social media to make the declaration. Long story short-ish: Despite a She’s All That remake shoot on the station premises, the DTLA train terminal kiosk will see the more than 500 people who had and then suddenly didn’t have an appointment now have them again on December 1:
Working with @LAFD, @Curative & @MetroLosAngeles, 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.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) December 1, 2020
It seems that filming with almost 200 crew and cast for the She’s All That remake will go on as scheduled as well at Union Station too.
Deadline first broke the story earlier tonight that the city-approved production of Miramax’s He’s All That had led to the site located on the South Patio of Union Station being closed for the day.
UPDATED, November 30, 10:55 PM: The COVID-19 testing site at Union Station may not be closed tomorrow for a movie shoot after all – if the Mayor’s office gets its way.
“In addition, we are hoping to reopen the Union Station site’s operations tomorrow,” says Eric Garcetti’s press secretary Andrea Garcia in a statement late tonight of the closure due to filming of the She’s All That remake.
Earlier tonight, following correspondence from site operator Curative, the City sent out emails to the 504 individuals who had December 1 appointments at the DTLA kiosk.
“We learned today that the Union Station kiosk will be closed on Tuesday, December 1 and unfortunately, your appointment for COVID-19 testing at that location was canceled,” the email said. “However, the City of Los Angeles is able to honor your scheduled testing appointment tomorrow at any of our other testing locations. You do not need to make a new appointment.”
As the Mayor’s office tries to get the Union Station site up and running for Tuesday, He’s All That producers Miramax are working BTS with Curative to see the kiosk continuing its work. We’ll update further as events progress.
In the meantime, here is the full statement from the mayor’s press secretary:
Earlier today we learned that our Union Station testing kiosk was unexpectedly closed in advance of tomorrow’s 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. In addition, we are hoping to reopen the Union Station site’s operations tomorrow. We remain committed to providing free tests and are scheduled to test more than 38,000 people tomorrow. We have administered more than 2.5 million tests to Angelenos since March 20. Our network of testing centers and mobile testing pop up facilities reaches the entire City of Los Angeles, and we will continue to monitor new surge areas to make sure obtaining a test is as easy as possible.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:34 PM: Los Angeles is under a new modified stay-at-home order starting Monday as coronavirus cases explode in the City of Angels again. However, at the same time, a city-sanctioned movie shoot is shutting down a heavily visited testing site Tuesday.
The kiosk at downtown L.A.’s Union Station will be shuttered tomorrow so the She’s All That remake can use the iconic terminal as a location.
Despite the hundreds of people who use the South Patio-located Covid-19 testing site daily at the well-trafficked station, the Miramax pic was granted a permit by FilmLA, Deadline has confirmed. With exterior shots and interior scenes at the terminal, there is estimated to be a total cast and crew size of around 170 at the location tomorrow.
Earlier today, those who had Covid-19 test appointments scheduled for Tuesday received an email telling them they were now out of luck, to put it politely.
“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 late afternoon correspondence from Curative Customer Care proclaimed of the site, which usually operates from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. Referring to the closure as a “huge inconvenience” in its email, Curative promised patrons they could use their December 1 appointment time “for any date and time in the future that works for you.”
Contacted by Deadline, Curative, which runs the pop-up site with the City of L.A., confirmed it sent the email and that the Union Station site is indeed closed tomorrow – which could lead to a back-up in scheduled and re-scheduled tests over the next week at the very least.
It’s time a Covid-19-battered L.A. doesn’t really have as the turkeys come home to spread from unsuccessfully dissuaded Thanksgiving gatherings and holiday travel. Newly imposed restrictions went into effect today to attempt to put the brakes on the surge of cases and hospitalizations that are increasing, almost certain to overwhelm the healthcare system in less than two weeks.
The decision to close the Union Station site was made by the property managers of Union Station, a well-placed source tells us. Morlin Asset Management felt the environment would be too disruptive, and social distancing would be too difficult to enforce, with filming going on.
Earlier Monday, the LA Public Health office reported 5,150 new cases of coronavirus, 17 additional deaths and 2,185 current hospitalizations in the county. Or as mayor and potential Joe Biden cabinet member Eric Garcetti just tweeted:
COVID-19 cases are surging and we must take urgent action to flatten the curve now.
We’re asking all Angelenos not to gather with anyone outside your household and limit any non-essential activities. If you do go out, wear your mask and practice physical distancing. pic.twitter.com/XyGHlEZyui
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) December 1, 2020
“Prior to this issue being brought to our attention, neither FilmLA nor the locations team for the production company had prior knowledge of a Covid-19 testing center operating on-site,” FilmLA told Deadline this evening. “Made aware of the testing site closure, production reps for the film offered to work with station representatives to restore access to the testing site tomorrow,” the non-profit permitting agency added. “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.”
Miramax had no comment on the situation when contact by Deadline. However, company reps did confirm the Mark Waters-directed flick would be filming at the DTLA railway station. Miramax had no idea its filming would cause the testing site to be closed, I hear. In fact, in no small part because they will be filming nowhere near the kiosk, the company is currently reaching out to Curative to see whether the testing site can be open for tomorrow.
Penned by original screenwriter R. Lee Fleming, with producers Jennifer Gigbot and Andrew Panay from the original 1999 flick also on board, He’s All That both updates and flips the script. In the new version, a social media influencer plans to avenge herself by accepting a challenge to turn the school’s biggest loser into the prom king after her boyfriend humiliates her.
Staying true to the context, TikTok superstar Addison Rae has signed on for the movie, as has Tanner Buchanan. In a cast that also features Madison Pettis, Peyton Meyer, Isabella Crovetti, Annie Jacob, and Myra Molloy, Rae and Buchanan will be playing gender-swapped versions of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook’s characters from She’s All That.
Of course, with an overall capacity of around 35,000 a day, there are a number of other sites where one can be tested in L.A., like the Curative-run drive-up at Dodger Stadium. That’s probably cold comfort for those who had a test scheduled tomorrow at Union Station.