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Rogers Park’s Indie Movie Theater Turns Into Coronavirus Testing Center: ‘We Find Ourselves Called To Action’

The New 400 Theater is offering COVID-19 tests and antibody tests. They're free for people without insurance.

The New 400 Theaters.
DNAinfo Chicago
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ROGERS PARK — The New 400 Theater has survived the coronavirus pandemic by offering patio drinks, snacks to-go and renting theaters out for personal use.

Now, the city’s oldest running movie theater is pivoting once again, this time to a coronavirus testing center.

The New 400 Theater opened what it calls “The Rogers Park COVID Center” Monday at 6746 N. Sheridan Road. The site offers coronavirus testing, including rapid tests, and COVID-19 antibody testing. Staffers are available for offsite concierge testing, business leaders announced.

The COVID Center accepts all Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Medicare and Medicaid insurance. It is not in-network for Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) insurance plans, which will require a $99 copay for tests, according to New 400 management.

Those without insurance can get a test for free courtesy of a federal government testing initiative. People with insurance who get a rapid test and don’t have it covered by their insurance will be charged $100.

The testing facility is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday by appointment only. Appointments should be booked in advance, which can be done by clicking here.

Temporarily rebranding as a coronavirus testing facility is just the latest effort by New 400 Theater to withstand the pandemic. Opened in 1912, The New 400 Theater is the oldest continually operating movie palace in Chicago.

When movie theaters were ordered to close this spring, The New 400 opened its patio to serve drinks, candy and popcorn.

In the fall, The New 400 rented out its movie theaters for private use. The idea paid off, with neighbors renting out most weekends through the winter.

But re-tightening of coronavirus restrictions caused the movie theater to close to the public and reschedule its rental dates.

The theater will now operate indefinitely as a coronavirus testing center, as a means of surviving the pandemic and helping neighbors during a trying time, management said in a statement.

“We find ourselves again called to action,” the statement said. “We look forward to the day when we can once again deliver the movies to this community we hold so dear.”

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