Everything Everywhere All At Once | 2022
- CALIFORNIA locations
- ▶ San Fernando Majers Coin Laundry, 260 South Meyer Street, San Fernando (the coin laundry run by Evelyn Wang)
- ▶ 400 National Way, Simi Valley (the 'IRS building' to which Evelyn has an appointment with bureaucrat Deirdre)
- ▶ DC Stages, 1360 East 6th Street, Downtown Los Angeles (studio sets)
- ▶ Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles (flashbacks to Evelyn's early years in 'Hong Kong')
- ▶ Los Angeles Theatre, 615 South Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles (the opulent setting for Evelyn’s movie star film premiere)
- ▶ East 7th Street at Mateo Street, Downtown Los Angeles (Evelyn is seen spinning a pizza ad sign)
- ▶ Vibiana, 214 South Main Street, Downtown Los Angeles (the ghostly white 'temple of the doughnut')
- ▶ Elysian Park, 929 Academy Road, Los Angeles (the kung-fu forest sequences)
- ▶ Font's Point, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs (the 'Desolate Rock Universe' in which Evelyn and Joy exist only as sentient boulders)
I suppose the first thing is to acknowledge how creativity and imagination trumped Marvel studios when it came to creating multiverses on a modest budget and with an FX team of seven.
The second thing is to say that, for the sake of my peace of mind, I will not be covering the locations in a strict plot breakdown order.
Let's jump right in.
▶ The coin laundry run by Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is a real laundry, San Fernando Majers Coin Laundry, 260 South Meyer Street at South Celis Street in San Fernando itself, in the north of the San Fernando Valley. ⏏
▶ About 20 miles to the west, the 'IRS building' to which Evelyn has an appointment with inflexible bureaucrat Deirdre Beaubeirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a 290,220-square-foot industrial complex in Simi Valley built as corporate offices for Bank of America, but which has been repurposed as an Amazon Delivery Station.
The complex was conveniently unoccupied at the time of filming and many interiors were able to be filmed in its vast space, which included building sets such as Evelyn's cluttered apartment behind the laundry.
See its exterior at 400 National Way, off the Ronald Reagan Freeway (Route 118).
If it looks a tad smaller than in the film, that’s because extra stories were added to the building, not with CGI, but with an old-school matte painting. ⏏
It's textbook low-budget filmmaking.
▶ Staying in the Downtown area, the flashbacks to Evelyn's early years in 'Hong Kong', shot in the old 4:3 Academy Ratio, are the narrow passage of Chung King Road, running behind North Hill Street in the north of LA’s Chinatown. Incidentally, you might have noticed the same alleyway in Todd Phillips’ 2004 Starsky & Hutch, with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. ⏏
▶ The opulent setting for alternative Evelyn’s movie star film premiere is the lobby of the magnificent Los Angeles Theatre, 615 South Broadway, in the heart of Downtown’s old entertainment district.
This same lobby can also be seen as ‘Gotham’s Excelsior Grand Casino’ in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever; in both Charlie's Angels and its sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; in Richard Attenborough’s 1992 biopic Chaplin, with Robert Downey Jr as the great star; in the Martin Scorsese musical New York, New York; as the venue for the Halloween dance in A Cinderella Story; as a raunchy casino in Armageddon; and as ‘the Vatican’, no less, in End of Days. You can see the cinema’s equally lavish auditorium in Steven Spielberg's 1941. ⏏
▶ Also downtown, East 7th Street at Mateo Street is the intersection where yet another Evelyn is seen spinning a pizza ad sign. ⏏
▶ The ghostly white 'temple of the doughnut' might be subliminally familiar from several music videos – including shoots for Beyoncé, John Legend and The Weeknd.
In a higher budget film I would have assumed this was a studio set, but no.
It was the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, standing at 214 South Main Street, Downtown Los Angeles since 1876, heavily damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Preservationists campaigned to save it from demolition and in the late 2000s, it was reborn as an event venue called Vibiana.
The grand hall, with its Carrara marble, Corinthian columns and a 45-feet-high ceiling, has also appeared episodes of TV series Alias and Californication. ⏏
▶ Away from LA, the 'Desolate Rock Universe', not suitable for life to develop, in which Evelyn and Joy (Stephanie Hsu) exist only as sentient boulders, is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004.
The largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego Desert occupies eastern San Diego County on Route 78. The actual filming spot is a spectacular overlook across the Borrego Badlands called Font’s Point, in the north of the park a few miles east of Borrego Springs.
▶ OK, trivia fans, what connects Everything Everywhere All at Once with Richard Attenborough’s film of the caustic musical satire Oh! What a Lovely War?
Well, one very unexpected location, glimpsed very briefly as the various multiverses flash by, is the skeletal remnant of the old Victorian West Pier rising from the sea at Brighton, on the English south coast in East Sussex (the setting for such notable films as Brighton Rock and Quadrophenia).
The pier was closed to the public in 1975, falling into disrepair and gradually collapsing. Two (probably deliberate) fires in 2003 destroyed most of the remaining structure.
But back in 1969, the pier’s original wrought-iron glory had been the main setting for Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War.
So now when that question pops up in a trivia quiz, you’ll know the answer. If there's a cash prize, you can buy me a drink. ⏏
There you go. If you have a mobile phone, Photoshop and AfterEffects, plenty of patience and a wild imagination, there's no excuse not to attempt your own epic.