In a city accustomed to doubling as a movie set and the inconveniences that go with that, the decision to temporarily shut down a coronavirus testing site at Union Station in Los Angeles while a movie is filmed there has rankled some city residents during the latest surge of infections.
The movie, “He’s All That,” which features the TikTok star Addison Rae and is a reboot of the 1999 romantic comedy “She’s All That,” received approval to film inside and outside the station on Tuesday, the city and county’s film office said. About 170 cast and crew members are expected to take part in the movie scenes, the film office said.
A homeless outreach and advocacy group called Ktown for All criticized the decision and shared a copy of an email that it said a resident received on Monday afternoon from the company that operates the testing site. It said that all testing appointments for Tuesday at the station had been canceled because of an event there.
The group said that the move showed that the city had misplaced its priorities at a time when hospitalizations for the virus are on the rise, and that the decision to close the site for a day made it more difficult for people who rely on public transportation to get tested.
“It’s truly one of the only Covid testing centers within the city of Los Angeles that is really accessible by public transit,” Devon Manney, a spokesman for the group, said in an interview on Monday night. “This is the L.A. that we are constantly fighting against.”
Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for the film office, which is known as FilmLA, said on Monday night that neither the office nor the locations team for the production company had been aware that the station was one of the city’s virus testing locations and were not involved in the decision to close the site.
City officials said on Monday night that residents whose appointments were canceled could get tested at any of the city’s nine other permanent testing sites or five pop-up locations, including one at the North Hollywood Metro station that is on the same rapid transit line as Union Station. They did not say who had made the decision to suspend testing at Union Station on Tuesday.
They also noted that about 350 daily tests are conducted on average at Union Station, which they said accounted for less than 1 percent of the more than 35,000 tests that are done every day.
Miramax, which is releasing the film, declined to comment on Monday night.
A Metro spokesman referred questions on the testing site’s closure to Union Station, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday night.
A spokeswoman for Curative, the company that operates the testing site, said that the tests had been canceled but that she did not have information on why.
City officials said that they were trying to restore at least some of the testing at Union Station on Tuesday.
“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,” Mr. Sokoloski, the film office spokesman, said on Monday night. “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.”
Andrea Garcia, a spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said that the city was committed to making it easy for residents to get tested.
“We are hoping to reopen the Union Station site’s operations tomorrow,” Ms. Garcia said on Monday night. “We remain committed to providing free tests and are scheduled to test more than 38,000 people tomorrow.
Taylor Lorenz contributed reporting.