Majers Coin Laundry in San Fernando could be any laundromat in Los Angeles.
Tucked away between a car repair shop and a mobile home park. A tall glass window reveals a vending machine stocked with M&M and bleach. Rows of metal wagons lined up in front. Sometimes the wind will blow them into the asphalt parking lot.
But there’s one detail that sets Majers apart from the competition: For six days in March 2020, his laundromat was home to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert-produced “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” who are now leading the way. Best picture field and host other prizes at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday After sweeping the highest honors from the Association of Directors, Producers, Screenwriters and Film Actors.
The washing machine becomes the center of a diverse universe of images. It’s home to an emotionally intense moment that helps turn the film’s hideous cry into a meme.
Since the film’s release in March 2022, fans from Burbank and Singapore have flocked to Meyer. They pose for selfies in front of the building’s recognizable green roof and red sign. Some came in uniforms, others looked at the washers and dryers trying to relive scenes from the movies.
To them, the washing machine belongs to the main characters of the sci-fi action movie Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Weymond Wang (Key He Quan), struggling Chinese immigrants. to keep their family together and their laundry business afloat in the midst of a messy IRS audit. and the threat of evil The power to leap across the universe
For the regulars of the laundromat The shop is owned by the real-life couple who gave the shop their name: Kenny and Irene Meyer.
They will ask Kenny about the new face. He said they were fans of the movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
“What movie?” replied the most dissatisfied.
The importance of the moment has not been lost on the owner. “Everything Everywhere” is a multifaceted mirror that reflects the experiences, feelings, and identities of viewers back to themselves. Including Kenny and Irene.
in the end The business is where the pair of laundry and taxes have been together for the past two decades.
Kenny’s grandfather built the laundry from scratch in 1983 on the property adjacent to the family’s liquor store. The album that Kenny keeps in his office contains photos of his grandfather making coals and his father helping. install the roof
When Kenny’s grandfather passed away in 1997, his father inherited the laundromat and thought of selling it. By then the business had deteriorated and had very few customers. But Kenny’s long-standing dream was to have his own business. He quit his job as a waitress at a casino in Bell Gardens and tried to persuade his father to stop selling Kenny the lease from his father until his death years later.
In 2000, Kenny took a trip to Mexico City with friends. to watch a Morrissey concert Kenny and Irene met through mutual friends. It was during this time that Irene was still struggling to find words.
“When I saw my husband for the first time I feel like I’ve known him for a long time,” Irene said. “It’s weird.”
before meeting with Kenny Irene had no desire to move to the United States. But the impression was enough to end her life in Mexico. Leaving her parents and her career as a jazz singer with a successful band
For the next 20 years, the pair have been working side by side. Build a business to be a regular in the community. and raised a single child, a daughter named Kaylyn. Irene worked most of the office work. Write checks to employees, pay bills, prepare tax documents and label products for sale. Kenny manages the machinery. repair damaged parts and purchasing and installing a new washing machine and dryer
The family has overcome the ups and downs of business. From inflated oil prices after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to losing customers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now SoCal Gas bills are skyrocketing.
Similar to Weymond who fought with mercy. Irene describes the cheerful Kenny. who advises customers on the most effective way to wash clothes as “Really good man”
When the business needed more money, Kenny hired a laundromat at a rival laundromat. and teach the owner how to maintain the equipment by himself over time His client list was declining.
“It’s not about that,” Kenny said of the potential loss of profits. “I love helping people.”
Irene called herself “A little stronger more rigorous.”
“I’m like Michelle[Yeo],” she says. “When I see Michelle in the office sitting down or talking to a client, Try to push Kenny like she did. it’s ironic But it’s true.”
When writing a chapter about a coin-operated washing machine The director was inspired by his father’s family. which after immigrating from Hong Kong to the United States Own a similar laundromat. With the apartment attached it’s a second story.
for movies Images of the apartment were artificially added at the top for exterior shots to reflect Kwan’s childhood memories, but Majers’ laundromat was a one-story shop.
There was a large wooden door in the washing machine that served as the entrance to the apartment in the movie. But it opens to the boiler room and dining room.
One of the first differences San Gabriel-based video game developer Josh Delson noticed was when he visited the laundromat in April after watching “Everything Everywhere” for the first time, since he’d seen the movie at least 25 times.
“It felt like visiting an old friend,” says Delson. “It felt like I connected with the laundromat in a weird way. It felt strange and nostalgic. Even though I’ve never been there before.”
while in it Delson buys iced tea from a vending machine and imagines the opening scene of the movie. The Wang family is in a brawl after Evelyn and Waymond overhear their daughter Joy (Stephanie Sue) venting to her partner Becky (Tally Maidel) about Come out as a stranger to her conservative grandfather, played by James Hong.
The scene reminded Delson of his struggles to communicate through generational rifts in his Filipino-American immigrant family.
“My parents, when they moved here with their grandparents, They have different priorities. Trying to live the American Dream “And it’s sustainable and gets through,” he says. “For me, I have the opportunity to go anywhere and try new things.”
Likewise, fans Kelly Caballero and First Charging Horse’s Siksika maatoombsai’biiboonokamiitaa, run by Yaz, say the film helps them navigate a difficult decision in their relationship: Caballero, who hails from Santa Ana. Contemplating moving to Florida to pursue a career in the maritime industry She has moved, with Yaz still living in California. where he continues to run Obsidian, which uses graphic and clothing designs to fight for indigenous rights.
After going to the laundry on Halloween dressed as Evelyn and Waymond The couple sat in the car for an hour to talk about their love for movies and their lives. “It’s one of those bittersweet and beautiful moments that you’ll remember forever,” Caballero said. “And it’s attached to that washing machine.”
Kenny grew up with a love of movies. Discover yourself during filming. Chatted with Hong, who was often sitting alone at the dining room table. and mingle with Yeoh and Chuan which he remembers from his childhood favorite “The Goonies.”
while the filming team changed locations Add new decorations and lighting. and set up new machines He blamed the worker for stepping on his fragile washing machine. He’s also available for occasional emergencies, such as fixing a dryer that doesn’t work. The loud sound of the machine disturbed the scene.
Irene spent most of her time at the hospital. which her sick aunt died during filming She spent her final days Even though she was too connected to the cast members. When families get together to drink and eat after the aunt’s memorial service. Irene answered the FaceTime call. At the other end was Kenny standing next to Irene’s favorite actor, Jamie Lee Curtis, greeting the family.
Days after filming at the laundromat, the COVID-19 shutdown took effect, The Majors questioned whether the film would ever be released. Then, in late 2021, one of Kenny’s friends texted him about the trailer.
months later Kenny and Irene watched a movie at AMC Burbank with their daughter and longtime laundromat and his wife. As the credits roll and the theater lights come on. Kenny looked at Irene and Kaylin as tears streamed from their eyes. In Evelyn and Joy’s relationship Kenny and Irene see their relationship with Caylin. who is now a senior in high school
Kenny held back tears at the theatre. The moment of his diarrhea happened during a movie production at the laundromat.
during filming Kenny would keep an eye on the scenes. arising from the screen which is usually set up in his office
One evening, the cast and crew were shooting a scene from the end of the movie. where Evelyn is chasing Joy outside the laundromat. After expressing grievances Both choose to love and accept each other. Ended with an embrace of tears
“I just started yelling,” Kenny said. “I had to go to my car and cry because that was 25 years since I brought my daughter here. And I saw some lives when they were filming.
“Sometimes it’s hard. Some moments are hard and grueling.”
As “Everything Everywhere” continues its history through award season Kenny and Irene both felt that they were involved from a distance.
“We will be connected forever. This laundromat will be linked forever. Make history with that,” Kenny said, referring to the unconventional nominations and wins for the film’s mostly Asian cast.
“I’m proud,” says Irene, now a registered nurse in the local hospital’s oncology department. “I’m proud of my husband…and I’m proud of my washing machine.”
There is little indication that the film was shot inside the major. There are no plaques or photographs to commemorate. But there are some fragments: a dent from the scene where Yeoh throws a baseball bat, which the filmmakers donated to Kenny; Signs written in Chinese instruct customers not to overload the washing machine.
Kenny keeps the Easter eggs he planted in his workshop during the filming of the movie. That was the plastic restaurant table number 22. He said it was his lucky number as a child and remains a talisman that helps him deal with grief. from the loss of both parents “It made me realize that everything would be okay,” he said.
As Kenny recalls the shoot from his office, he smiles. The routine flows in. At this point, they’re more like friends. Some of them grew up in the laundry and now take their kids there. They create a weekly chat routine with Kenny: One, Jeff solves LA Times crosswords while his clothes are being washed every Tuesday morning.
People often ask Kenny, who has just turned 50, when he plans to retire. He scoffed at the idea. He didn’t know what to do with himself.
“I’m happy,” said Kenny, “that’s why I’m still here.”