The Automat is what many call the original fast-food restaurant. It was a chain of eating establishments where you could grab a cup of coffee, a sandwich, some desserts, all from coin operated vending machines. There would be rows and rows of them along the wall, and patrons would grab something to eat and drink, then stay for hours.
Americans once sipped coffee and ate pie around communal tables, sharing their struggles and dreams with strangers at Horn & Hardart’s iconic Automat. Lifetimes ago, these working class palaces nourished a sense of unity that bridged the diversity of class, language, gender and race in the urban melting pots of the East Coast.
Filmmaker Lisa Hurwitz is making a documentary about it.
THE AUTOMAT, a documentary film about the phenomena of America’s original & most beloved restaurant chain in NYC & Philadelphia.
She has setup a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of the movie, and is more than halfway to her $50k goal with about a week left to fund it. Rewards for backing the documentary range from a spot in the film’s credits, to nabbing an Executive Producer title.