Buy Tickets

The Automat

Documentary centers on the vending machine popularized in the 20th century that offered fresh cooked meals in a commissary-style eatery. (NR, 79 min.)


Friday, April 29, 2022

5:30 PM

Saturday, April 30, 2022

2:30 PM

Sunday, May 1, 2022

2:30 PM

Monday, May 2, 2022

5:00 PM

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

5:30 PM

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

3:00 PM 5:00 PM

Thursday, May 5, 2022

5:00 PM

Before fast food we had something better. Our grandparents told us stories of gathering around communal tables, sharing their lives, their struggles, and their dreams with strangers at The Automat. Relive the phenomena of America’s original and most beloved restaurant chain with never before-seen archival footage and photographs and a cast including celebrity customers, company executives, historians, and members of the Horn & Hardart families. [Metacritic]

Starring: Elliott Gould, Lisa Keller, Lorraine Diehl, Marianne Hardart, Mel Brooks, Norris Horn, Paul Hardart, Ron Barrett, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wilson Goode
Director: Lisa Hurwitz
Genre: Documentary

*This film has not been evaluated by the MPAA.

Watch Trailer

"It's just fantastic... Mel Brooks practically takes over this movie."

— Tim Cogshell, FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles)

"It’s a celebration of what for so many people was among the happiest of times."

— Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

"The Automat was owned by the people, and it’s the people who loved it, remember it with passion, and still shed a tear when you mention it now."

— Rex Reed, Observer

"This enjoyable movie gets to the core of the Automat’s significance, cutting to the core of its social impact on New York and the changing world we live in."

— Rex Reed, Observer

"Lisa Hurwitz memorializes a chain of eateries like no other in The Automat, a beguiling little film that traces the populist history of the Horn & Hardart restaurants."

— Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"The Automat taps into so many resonant aspects of what America used to be that to watch it is to be drawn into an enchanting and wistfully profound time-tripping reverie."

— Owen Gleiberman, Variety

"The delight of “The Automat"... is its blend of social and intellectual history with its anecdotal history—its evocation of the links between intention, practice, and experience; its depiction of a largely lost aesthetic of daily life."

— Richard Brody, New Yorker

"As compact and enticing as those windowed compartments that once dispensed tasty food for mere nickels... “The Automat” takes an affectionate — and affecting — look at the famed Horn & Hardart restaurant chain and its singular place in dining history."

— Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

"The principal story that The Automat tells is that of a commercial vision meshing with an aesthetic one, the transformation of cheap dining into a sort of theatrical experience, complete with a stage setting of authentic craft and luxury, in which the banal purchase of food becomes a tour de force of industrial ingenuity."

— Richard Brody, The New Yorker